|Hassie & siblings- with parents, Steve Thompson & Alice Fuller|
This past summer, my mother called to tell me that she had received a picture of her paternal grandmother, Hassie Thompson Bannarn. She said that the picture was of Hassie as a child with her parents and siblings. She knew that I would be excited, being that in all these years we've never been able to locate a picture of her. Once I saw the picture, I was even more curious because I've never heard of Hassie having any siblings except for one sister named Lela. I wondered if they were really her siblings..if so, why hadn't I ever heard of them.
I have been looking at this picture for months trying to figure out why it looks so strange to me.I've looked at every detail, searching their faces, looking at their clothing. And it occured to me, that the little girl on the right is leaning back. Her eyes look strange, slightly off. Actually both girls are leaning a bit. I wondered if they just had bad posture or if they were deceased. What a morbid thought. However, I know that there was a time when they took photographs of the dead.They all look so sad to me. Still and solemn. I wonder why they didn't smile back then.
My mother never met her grandmother. She died in 1942, when my mother was just a baby. I've always wondered what she looked like, as did my mother. My Grandma used to tell me all about her mother-in-law, Hassie..Mrs. Bannarn as she called her. She said that she was an Angel and the sweetest woman that she knew. Hassie and her husband Dee Bannarn had come to Minnesota from Oklahoma in about 1913. Hassie later developed severe arthritis that left her body deformed. Her arms and hands were drawn up to her chest. She couldn't walk and was confined to her bed. They took her to many different doctors, even to some place were they had hot springs. They still could not figure out what was wrong or how to cure her condition. Her husband and children took care of her. Grandma Hassie's hair was so long, they would have to drape it over the iron bed rail to brush it and it almost touched the floor. My Grandma remembered Hassie's son, Mike, being very close with his mother. She said that he came home from school everyday and took care of her. My cousin, Mike's daughter, remembered a similar story. She said that he would sleep on the floor next to his mother's bed. Grandma was there the day that Grandma Hassie died. She said that when they lifted her off the bed that the bed springs played a song. " My God Near To Thee". I've never fully understood that, but grandma swore by that story and told it to me a million times.
|My Mother at 23 years old.|
|Lela Thompson Bannarn: Hassie's Sister.|
I continue to search for Hassie, she's so interesting. I've traced her in the census from 1880-1940. I know that she was Indian. However, I've yet to find her listed as that. Always mulatto or black. There's still so much more to find. The search continues..
© 2013 Denise Muhammad
Hope you can get some more answers soon! Photos are the best.ReplyDelete
Thanks Kristen. Me too!Delete
I absolutely love reading about your family. Your mother looks absolutely stunning in the picture. The pictures taken back then took a long time. People had to sit still for so long that some of the seats had a brace that you could put your heard against which could explain the lean. Lea is smiling and doing it beautifully. Look at all that hair she had to put up.ReplyDelete
Once again you told a very interesting story about your family. Your writing just flows. I can't wait to see where your search takes you.
Thank you Bernita. I hadn't thought about that. I bet they did have to sit a long time. Maybe that's why they didn't smile. Must have been annoying to be still for so long. :)Delete
Have you posted the picture of your mother on Face book, I know I seen this beautiful picture before? I am glad that your posting was able to find your cousin.ReplyDelete
Yes, I have! There are a few of my cousins that have posted her photo as well. We all have many old photos on our pages. Our method of sharing family photos before my blog :)Delete
I know you can feel Hassie is leading you... step by step, right? Getting the picture was HUGE! Who sent it to your Mom? Looking at it if Hassie is the young girl on our right, the light child on the left could have been Rosey! Which one was Lela -- one of the older girls on the far left? I love how you're working through the logic and calling ALL those answers by identifying the questions. Now they know what info to reveal. A beautiful, intriguing picture. Mom was a stunner!:)ReplyDelete
Yes Luckie, I do feel she is leading me. I swear that this picture has been talking to me. My mother's cousin sent her the picture shortly before he passed away. Mom had been calling everyone trying to find pictures. It finally paid off. My thoughts exactly about Rosey, I believe she is the child on the left also. Lela was two years older than Hassie so it seems like she would be in the picture. I'm not sure who the other children are. Trying to figure it out. This is like detective work. :)Delete