All Singing! All Dancing! from the Archives

August is the month where I succumb to the Texas heat, and hide out in the house with cooling beverages.  I use this month to catch up on organizational tasks that don’t take much energy, like watching my Craftsy classes, updating my book catalog, and scanning and documenting the old photographs I pick up at antique stores.

This year is different though, because I have received boxes and boxes of photographs and letters from my husband’s family, and in sorting through those, I am finding amazing treasures to share.

And these are just the ones that are downstairs. There are more. Lots more.

This first batch is from Aunt Millie, who was born in about 1910.  As a young person, she lived in Seattle, Washington; in married life she lived in Juneau, Alaska; and in later life she lived in Goliad, Texas.  I met her once or twice, but just briefly.  I wish I had been able to hear stories of her interesting life!

First we have this picture of a school play.  It seems to be a play about Good and Bad Habits that will lead to Education.  I am guessing that at some point, Interest and Curiosity there on the right will be doing a little dance.

School play, 1920s.

I cannot pick Millie out of the cast, but this picture fascinates me.  Looking at some details —

Imagination and Vision don’t look very imaginative.

There are actually girls in these boxes. I imagine at some point in the play they would rise up to be the Spirits of Reading, History, and Arithmetic. Maybe Millie was one of these.

The seated girls in front seem to be characterizing bad habits. This one says “gluttony” (thus the cake slices in her hands) but I can’t figure out the others.

I’m guessing the extremely bored-looking girl on far left is the Student who is learning good habits. The others are Interest, (possibly) Curiosity, and Concentration.

I cannot imagine what this girl is meant to represent.

Later on, Millie’s performance career seemed to be a lot more fun!  She graduated high school in 1927, and these pictures look to be from about that time.

Dancing partners.

I never knew buccaneers wore that kind of footwear.

Here she is in 1935, playing the maid in a local production of “Loose Ankles,” which had been a 1930 movie with Loretta Young and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.  The plot is that the rich girl’s prudish aunts want her to marry someone proper, so she hires a man to help her cause a scandal, so they will give up on marrying her off.  The Turner Classic Movies website has two clips of the movie, and in one of them, the maid helps stage the scandal, so it looks like it was a juicy part for Millie.

Cast photo from “Loose Ankles”, Juneau, Alaska, 1935.

I just love this snapshot of fashions from 1935!

Somewhere along the way, Millie married Hugh, who had been in the army.  I think this is one of his pictures, possibly of troops being entertained while stationed in Alaska:

I love the canned goods peeking over the top of the back wall.

Millie was always very social.  I believe that she and Hugh are in the back of the room here, near the window, Millie in the white dress with floral hem, and Hugh smiling and facing her.

Square Dance Festival, Dec. 1950. That is a lot of plaid.

I hope you have enjoyed this dip into this trove of photos!