October 23, 2013
Sepia Saturday #200: Katie Revisited (an early Sepia Saturday post)
She was 18 when this photograph was taken. Home from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she shed the young lady who was studying hard to make a career for herself as a teacher to indulge the little girl that was still there in her heart.
You can see how much she’s enjoying herself by the big smile on her face and the relaxed posture—the slight lean of her body. Note, how she loosely grips the ropes, how her arms hang almost slack and her feet dangle in their shiny black shoes and dark socks.
She was born in 1896 and died in 1990 at the age of 94.
In December, 1902, she got to sit on Marconi’s knee when he was in town to make the first transmission of a radio message to cross the Atlantic. Her father was the town clerk of Glace Bay and brought his six-year old daughter to see the event. (I wonder if a newspaper clipping exists somewhere?)
She was a life-long fan of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and there was even a rumour that she had a rose he had given to her personally on one of his campaigns.
She loved to watch the Montreal Canadiens trounce the Toronto Maple Leafs in ice hockey.
She wouldn’t say no to a drink of beer on a hot summer’s day.
Her only regrets in life were that she never learned to use a typewriter or drive a car.
She was my grandmother, Sarah Katherine “Katie” Harris (nee McNeil).
Kat Mortensen©2009 (originally Sepia Saturday #3)
Addendum: I have just recalled this book that I came across in my mother's possessions which belonged to my grandmother. It has an inscription in her handwriting on the flyleaf inside. The book was from one of her classes at "The Mount" and is entitled, "Speech On Conciliation with America" by Burke. Sounds pretty dry to me, and it must have been to her as well, for the inscription (after her name and address) is anything but:
Mount St. Vincent
1914-1915 Nova Scotia
The Ivy - - - Hope
Although we part with tears
From those who hold our
We know we'll find them
In the fields of light above.
A bit of research tells me this is probably a misquote of the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, "The Reaper and the Flowers". This is the original verse:
"And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again
In the fields of light above."
I like who my grandmother must have been.
Be sure to click this tableau below and visit as many of the contributors (past and present) who are participating in this monumental event of Sepia Saturday 200.