Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Little Sideways Smile




It's hard to imagine, in the long years since her death, hard not to redact oral history in her favor, but Grandma Eva had no sense of humor. This is not to say that she was stern, or judgmental, or quelling. She wasn't any of those things. She just didn't really get or make jokes--and I'm not referring to the "so a man walked into a bar" variety, but rather to the true wit and acerbity, the everyday hilarity and the bon mots indulged with wicked abandon by my family.



Grandpa Max adored his bride, despite the disability. He could find solace with his confederates--his daughters, brother, grandchildren, all in possession of genetically encoded, environmentally honed funniness. He knew grandma would always be there, standing to one side of the laughter, smiling a little sideways smile.









for more posts, or to join in with your own photos and reminiscences, please visit the Sepia Saturday blog!

35 comments:

Betsy said...

Well, she certainly looks like she could have a sense of humor with that smile! I love her hat.

Your header pic could be a sepia saturday entry all in itself! :)

mouse (aka kimy) said...

perhaps grandma eva was cracking up inside, but had to protect her image!!

she's certainly has one sly smile and a special light behind those eyes!

loverly photos!!!

MJ said...

She must have had something special going for her for gramps to have adored her so.

lettuce said...

to one side of the laughter, thats so apt

I love her hat and she looks full of humour here

Brian Miller said...

love that sideways smile. she looks i good humor at least...and there is something to be said for knowing she would always be there.

willow said...

This is a beautiful piece of writing, Leah. Sigh. Delightful sideways smile pics, too.

I, on the other hand, am one of those silly types.

Martin H. said...

I love that sideways smile. Perhaps she was giggling inside, without giving too much away.

Valerie said...

You surprise me when you say she had no sense of humour ... I thought she looked like a merry soul, especially in the first picture. All this digging out of old photographs is very nostalgic... I'm enjoying it.

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

A great post, and I love that she has a different expression in each post and that you see the train station platform in the background in the last one. Is that Williamsburg? Thanks for contributing to Sepia Saturday.

tony said...

She Looks A Happy Body.A Warm Smile Is Usally Enough.Who Took The Photos Do You Know? She Obviously Liked The Photographer.

savannah said...

you have her eyes, sugar! what a perfect pairing of images. ;~D xoxoxo

John Hayes said...

I'd never guess from that rather impish smile in her photos that Grandma Eva had no sense of humor. Wonderfully told--& I loved the quote from "Wanderin'" under your profile!

Thanks for following at RFBanjo.

corticoWhat said...

Everyone got funnier AFTER prohibition was lifted. Grandma Eva looks a tad tipsy with the cocked hat and impish grin. I think I would have liked her.

Madame DeFarge said...

She does look like she'd be fun. Maybe she kept it for special occasions.

subby said...

What Betsy said; but I've know people that cannot( for whatever reason ), see the funny or get the joke...

Ronda Laveen said...

This is a great photo of her. I'm trying to imagine how life would look if one really did not get the subtleties of wit and humor. Those of us that have it must look like aliens to her.

Pat said...

Who would have thunk? She's got such brio!

Karen ^..^ said...

It amazes me how much you favor her, especially around the eyes.

She's beautiful. A beautiful smile, and some might say that those who don't get the jokes of today (or yesterday) have a very innocent air about them, a certain naivete which is appealing in it's own right.

She's lovely. Just like you.

Poetikat said...

Oh, she was so cute; she reminds me of Shirley Booth of "Hazel" fame.
I love the Marlene Dietrich-tilt to her hat.
I imagine she was happy just to listen to all the goings-on around her. Sometimes its tough to keep up with banter and bon mots. Perhaps she felt it easier to just stay quiet, smile and enjoy.

Lovely photos of her, Leah. She must have been a treasure.

Poetikat said...

This is a test, because I wrote a comment, blinked and then forgot if I posted it. Sorry.

Merely Me said...

I can't get over how, not even "knowing you" I feel like the first and last picture totally look like you!
Awesome read. As usual!

Princess said...

Dear Leah,
Your post got me thinking about my own Grandmother and it occured to me that, like many women of her generation, someone in the family had to mantain a sense of seriousness, decorum and sobriety. This was the case with my Grandmother, though when caught in moments alone when she tought that the coast was clear could be found giggling away to herself (usually by the kitchen sink adorned in one of her many aprons doing mountains of dishes) repeating to herself the funny lines made in conversation by other family members.
But in the company of others would always be on the sidelines just observing without participation in the repartee, but always with her own little sideways smile.

Rhonda in OK said...

what a cute picture - I love her top hat set off to the side

and I think I agree with so many of the other commenters, she looks like she did have a sense of humor that she just enjoyed keeping to her herself.

I miss my grandmothers too, thankfully they live to be 95 and 99.

Meri said...

My daughter-in-law has this issue -- a problem in this word wit family. Someone usually has to explain.

Tracey said...

This sounds just like my Grandma Bunny. The family kind of ran circles around her in this area. But she was adored nonetheless.

mapstew said...

'It was inside I was laughing'!

That's what I saw in her face!

xxx

Jimmy Bastard said...

I agree with Savvy, the eyes have it indeed. The smile is wider than you may have first thought.

It was certainly a man who placed that sparkle about her eyes.

nick said...

Having a completely crazy sense of humour myself, I'm always bemused by people who never seem to see the funny side of anything and take life 100 per cent seriously. But they're probably equally bemused by me and think I'm shockingly frivolous.

Mrsupole said...

She must have been laughing inside because she had to have decorum during those days, and maybe she would go into a back room and roar with laughter and no one ever knew. She was beautiful and had a gorgeous smile. You do seem to favor her.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

God bless.

Stephanie said...

She is lovely!

L. D. Burgus said...

The hat and the smile is great. Only if life didn't have to become so serious. Not too brave to take a chance to enjoy. Safer to stay inside oneself. Great photos.

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Ah - I'm jealous! I wish I could capture the true essence of someone with so few words!
I love the first photograph - she seems to be looking with such hope and confidence into the future.
She looks like someone who many not have had the first laugh but she probably often had the last!
Evelyn in Montreal

Mark Emerson Sanderson said...

Blimey, no sense of humour you say? That could put a man on edge at first. Wish I had some pics of old family.

Mr. Shife said...

Well if she did not get the jokes she still had a great smile. Reminds me of my dear mother who would just smile when a joke went over her head. Thanks for sharing the great pictures Leah.

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