Monday, February 13, 2012

According to the internet this is a Columbian Lithograph.  I could not find a date for it, but it is like the one that hung in my  Mamaw's front room just above Uncle Charlo's chair. As Uncle Charlo was blind  I assumed he did not know it was there.  It was Uncle Charlo who nicknamed me Chatterbox, after what was to him my most notable characteristic. By notable I mean the thing that made me stand out from my 35 cousins.  If he had not lost his eyesight in a coal mine explosion long before I was born, he could have just as easily dubbed me Bruisy or Bedhead or Stickyface. 
    When I was a chattery little mite I firmly believed this little girl in the litho was a photograph of my mama as a child.  This in spite of the fact that I had seen actual bona fide photographs of my mama as a child, her extremely curly hair was never longer than her earlobes and certainly not long enough to braid, and the phoptographs were all in black and white while this child is clearly rendered in some old-timey semblence of living color.      Logic was never my strong suit.          In her later years Mama and I got on the subject of Mamaw's house one day, and she told me, "There was a little picture of a girl watching a bird, which hung on the wall over Uncle Charlo's chair. I imagine it was cut out of a magazine, but when I was little I always thought it was me, and Uncle Charlo said of course it was, look at that red hair!" 

From this story we may surmise that:
 1-Chatterbox  had no grasp of the historical development of the art of photography or lithography.  
 2-Chatterbox and her Mama both fancied themselves the center of the known universe.    
3-Great Uncles tell charming fibs to little children.
4-Our Irish ancestry lives on in the form of flaming hair generation after generation.
5-Clearly someone had told Uncle Charlo there was a picture of a little girl hanging above him and he felt no objection to this because either he felt very secure in his manhood or he didn't give a flying fig about cutesy-poo baby art.

Discuss this amongst  yourselves.

(I love saying amongst.)


  1. I haven't seen Grandma Pat's childhood portraits, but Little Litho certainly has her little rounded nose and chin and her soft cheeks. I can't tell from here if she smells like Baby Magic.

    It seems to me if she'd ever had hair long enough to braid she still would have worn it to cover her ears. She told me when I was a preteen that she Hated her ears. I thought they were fine, but there you go.

  2. When I first saw the litho, I thought it looked like a young Grandma. So, I'm as willing to suspend disbelief as Chatterbox and her mama.

    I'm guessing once you've lost your eyesight in an explosion, it's really hard to give a flying fig about a lot of trivial matters. That may be the one upside to such an accident; liberation from inconsequential stuff.

  3. Small-if she smelled like anything at all it would be like Uncle Charlo's pipe tobacco. Redman.

    Middle-Uncle Charlo was in many ways liberated from inconsequential stuff, even before he lost his sight. He once took a job in the salt mines under Detroit, because he wanted to see what a salt mine was like and they didn't allow visitors. He worked there for a day, saw what he wanted to see, then quit the job.
    He also is the uncle who married the best girl from Blackburn's brothel. She died before I was born, so I never met her, but Mamaw always referred to her as "quite a handsome woman".
    I don't know much about our family tree, but what I do know is certainly not dull.

    1. PS- Uncle Charlo also always had white peppermints and Bazooka Joe bubblegum in his pockets, which he freely offered to us little ones. If we chose bubblegum we had to read him the cartoon inside it.


If you disagree with me try to keep it clean, or I'll wash your mouth out with homemade soap.