And the last lady said "HMMMMMM..."

Here it is. The final piece of the Family Reunion puzzle. I send this knowing how dangerous family reunions can be. How fragile families are when mental illness intrudes. Let's hope this family was storybook happy, but let's admit it...probably not.

This little lady with the "Hmmmmmmm..." look on her face is what holds it all together for me. She's got her own story going on. Is she thinking, "Hmmmmm...do I put carrots or parsnips with the rabbit?" Or is she thinking, "Do I tell my husband I'm leaving him for the shoe salesman before or after the pie?" She's the only one not in the moment. And she's probably the glue that held the family together. We'll never know. She's a vernacular photography mystery. You'll bring whatever story you want to her.

And now finally, the entire photo. See, I told you...nothing to see here. Keep moving. Just a group of people standing in front of a house. I will dig out one of them sitting on steps and post at a later time. Right now I'm feeling my own angst over a friends family. A family that I imagined would have ended up happy, but instead is in painful turmoil. Mental illness has far reaching tendrils. Yes, the pain is lessened the farther distance you are from the center of it, but it still shadows all who come into contact with it.


  1. Grandpa on the left, his wife is the older woman on the right with apron. Warren Zevon is their daughter and married to the dude with the rabbit, the 2 young women are their daughters and boy is their late in life baby. Nutty woman is either Grandma or Grandpa's sister.

  2. You're reading it just as I did. That's exactly the family relationship I had in mind.

  3. I think the so named,Nutty Woman is Mother of man with rabbit.(and she is a little worried about her son)

    I agree with everything else.

  4. Okay, I'm going with that. She's worried he's so attached to his rabbit.

    I don't think she's nutty. I certainly don't want to imply that. I think she was thinking. She had something else on her mind, wasn't in the moment. I really have to find those other snapshots of these people. As I recall there were a few other people in the other shots. In fact one shot might be completely different people but I recognized the house. Seriously, there's enough house there that I recognized it.

  5. Rabbit dude has a long horsey face, she has the same round face and features as everybody else, including Grandpa and Grandma. Just saying.

  6. Why is it, in so many of these old family photos, someone has to be holding something completely out of place, like a rabbit? And why does someone always look utterly appalled?

  7. I don't know. You think it's the photographer they hired?

    "Okay, you stand here. No, a little more to the left. Yeah, that's it. And now kid, you hold the cat. And sir, you...talk guy...you hold the rabbit."

    A photographer who travels with a menagerie because he doesn't want his shots to look ordinary. "Stanley Simpkins...Prop Photographer!"

  8. I'm sorry. I didn't read this one before making that unthinking comment in the previous post. Please disregard and remove if you want.

    They're a fine-looking family with quirks and mysteries, just like every family in the world.

    My own family has not been untouched by mental illness.

  9. They are a fine looking family and we have said nothing to disparage them. Taken out of context they each become their own little story. And I agree, he could be related to Boo.

    Poor Boo. There used to be a guy that lived near here I called Boo. He lived outside near an old barn. Looked like a Big Foot. All wild hair, beard, wild eyes, dirty overalls. And he was HUGE. He'd suddenly appear at the side of the road. Looked scary as could be, but my father told me someone he knew had told him that this Boo, like the real Boo, was as sweet as could be. Every so often neighbors would convince him to come inside and they'd bathe him and clean his clothes. Then they'd put him back outside which is where he wanted to be. I haven't seen him in over 10 years.