Post 392: a favorite photo

My mother wasn’t a girly girl type of person. She was athletic, taught Red Cross swimming for 60 years, and had shortish hair (swimming length) as long as I can remember.

That stated, I found this postcard of Mom with her parents. Taken in the early 1920s when they took a trip to California, it shows my mother as a little girly girl with a big bow in her hair. She’s riding in a pony cart pulled by an ostrich.

“…pulled by an ostrich….” Yeah, sure! Well, they were in California, eh!?ostrich cart

The cart has a name on it: Cawston Ostrich Farm, which actually was a familiar tourist attraction, it seems, in Southern California till it closed in 1935.

Though this photo is unique to my family, there are online photos of many people in similar poses at this same attraction.

The photo is one of the few that has my grandparents and my mother all in the same shot, and is the earliest photo I know of my mother.

One odd bit of family history is that my grandparents bought some property in Anaheim while in California, whether as an investment or a possible retirement place, I don’t know. My grandfather, however, died of cancer in his early 50s in 1940.

The property in California probably was sold at that time – pure speculation since no one is alive now to confirm this – and eventually became part of the parcel on which Walt Disney built Disneyland! (Of course, that was over a decade after the property most likely was sold.)

8 thoughts on “Post 392: a favorite photo

    • Possibly. I imagine they keep these records pretty much forever unless they are lost in natural disasters or something like a fire or poor archiving. I’d never thought about this possibility to verify (possibly debunk!) family stories about this and another property in Denver that also ended up in a large development. Thanks for something to try today!

      • I just submitted a record request with the city of Anaheim, and they note their goal is to provide the information within 1-3 business days, 10 days at the most. Whatever they find will be in public records (if they find anything), and I am kind of excited about this now!

        Frankly, it makes no difference one way or another what they find. I hope to get some document that ties the property to the legend associated with it just for the fun of having proof of the legend, but, if it turns out to be a story and just that, it still is a good one.

        My grandmother used to tell the child-me some big ones when trying to get me to fall asleep for my nap. My siblings heard different stories than I, and the ones aimed at me involved car wrecks, stadiums collapsing, and enraged boars chasing my grandmother across a pen in Scotland. (I apparently needed some blood and guts to fall asleep!) I was past nap taking when Disneyland was built and opened, so feel this family legend might have a bit more credibility than Gram’s “usual”! 🙂

    • Yeah, wasn’t that kind of fun?! I didn’t realize it until recently that this family history was something my older siblings were unaware of. (I think all of them weren’t, anyway….) They all left town after high school for marriage; the US NAvy and jobs; university and marriage. I left for the university and the US Army, but returned here, so I spent more time with our parents than the rest of my siblings. Things came up in conversation, like this family history.

    • Me, too! Now that I’ve learned how to use the scanner on my all-in-one machine, I want to do more of these old photos this way.

      Another favorite is on my Grandma McKenzie and one of her sisters dressed up as a cowboy and an Indian. They were Scottish immigrants, and I’m sure they sent copies of this one to their family back in Scotland!

      My grandmother, like many people in the early 20th Century, had a collection of such photos made into postcards and souvenir postcards on all sorts of subject matter.

      I liked looking at them when I was little, and wish most hadn’t been tossed or sold at one point when Mom was trying to clear out decades worth of stuff that accumulated at the house before she and Dad reached the age where they had to give up independent living.

      She did save some really good ones, like this, though!

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