A summer breeze blows. I pull a bit of long grass around the stones. And, think of my mother, father, and niece, and how love never ends.
Machias and Roque Bluffs, Maine. 1936 to 1942. What did girls do? Well, pose on a cool car. Hang out around their homes. Swing. What else? Hang out at the Cemetery, of course. Does anyone know Mom’s friend, dubbed “Tombstone Annie”? No one grows up in Machias without spending summer days at Roque Bluffs. You […]
This is the most popular post on this blog in the past six months. Originally posted February 6th, the day 665 hits came in! Thank you Mom!
Left to right: Dad (James “Gene” Rier), Gordon Ackley and Mom (Louise Johnson Rier). Gordon’s Model A (or is it a Model T?) is in the background. Gordon was the manager of the shop at Rier Motors for many years, as far back as I can remember. He was part of our family. I miss them all dearly, but it is nice to see them together smiling on a sunny day!
If you lived in Machias, Maine in the 1950s and 1960s, you went bowling at Machias Valley Bowling Lanes. As kids practiced their skills, our parents were on teams in the bowling league, part of the social fabric of Downeast Maine.
My Mom, Louise Rier, is in the back row on the far left of the photo. I was seven years old at the time. She is 39 years old, a lot younger than I am now.
Good memories, good times.
When I married and left Maine in 1970, I learned how to bowl with big balls. Today, I learned that candlepin bowling was primarily practiced in the Canadian Maritime provinces and New England in the US. The history of the sport is interesting and this version of bowling is still promoted in Maine.
The back of the postcard reads: “Louise and Robert on a sleigh ride with Chris the man who cares for Billy’s trotting horses. This is Wm’s horse.” ~ Albert J.
The children on a sleigh ride in Machias, Maine, are my Mom and her brother, Louise and Robert Johnson. Billy is their uncle, Billy Means and Wm is William Means, the children’s grandfather. The horse drawn sleigh is on the wooden bridge across the Machias River with the Getchell Grist Mill and the roofline of the Phoenix Opera House in the background.
This photograph of Mom was found in the old barn at 24 Broadway in Machias in the later years of my mother’s life. It was in an old trunk strapped up under the stairs to the second floor. I had never noticed it before. Mom said that Dad put the trunk there when they moved into the house in 1952 just before I was born, in an effort to store old things in a hurry. The forgotten trunk belonged to my grandmother Harriet and was filled with antique linens, her scrapbook, and old photographs. When the photo was discovered, I took it, along with other items from the trunk, for Mom to see.
“I haven’t seen this picture since I was young,” she said and smiled up at me from the chair where she sat most of the day, her mobility limited by severe arthritis.
“Wow! You’re so young and pretty, Mom,” I replied in excitement. I wanted to add that she still was but I knew that remark would irritate her. She hated getting old and no compliment could assuage her disdain for her reflection in the mirror. Wistfully, she fingered the linens I set in her lap and then looked through her mother’s scrap book which she did not remember. No wonder. It was 2007, seventy one years after that photo was taken.
Today, as I went through cartons of storage in need of one more round of organization, I found the photo in the original frame and another treasure: my mother’s writing.