Thursday, January 18, 2018

Throw Back Thursday: One Hundred Years Ago

This is a photo of my grandmother, taken when she was seven years old and all dressed up for her big sister's wedding. Grandma was born in September, 1911, so this photo was probably taken in late 1918. As it turns out, I have an eyewitness account of what her life was like at that time. My grandmother wrote a ten-page autobiography in January, 1986, and made sure we all copies. I've been reading it recently, and see that it's possible some of my urge to write came from her!

The following is an excerpt from the section of Grandma's autobiography close to the time this photo was taken. It describes events that took place that year in Rexburg, Idaho.

November of 1918 brought the end of World War I and the Armistice celebration. The Kaiser was burned in effigy on the flagpole in the middle of Main Street. I got lost in the crowd. 

I must have been doing a bit of loud crying because the curfew lady, Mrs. Barnes, took me by the hand and asked me my name and where I lived. I can remember telling her, "My name is Mabelle and I live down past the Tabernacle." 

On the way home, we met Adeline and Hank [her sister and brother] coming back to town to find me. I remember that well because I was a frightened little girl. Who wouldn't have been at that tender age--bands playing, people yelling, the stuffed Kaiser hanging up there on a pole burning and Mrs. Barnes dressed in a long black skirt and black coat, carrying a billy club looped over her wrist and a gun in her purse. No, I won't forget that.
   ---- The Autobiography of Mabelle Irene Luthy Larter, written January, 1986

And, obviously, my grandmother never did forget that, since she described it vividly nearly seventy years later. What's more, she put it in writing, so all of us can now know what life was like a hundred years ago for one very special little girl.

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