The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “Minnie Viola Russell Kerby

Look at that fox!

When a photographer came around in the early 1900s, people gathered themselves together and got their picture made quickly while the opportunity presented itself. My grandmother told me about the day a photographer made this photo of her parents, Minnie Viola Russell and Andrew Ethelbert Kerby. They saw the photographer coming up the road while out in their yard on Trade Street in Florence, Alabama around 1923. Not dressed up for pictures they hurriedly put on a jacket and a fox stole. My grandmother, Marie, was particularly fond of this picture. She would laugh every time she looked at it.It was a little perplexing to me to see that around my great-grandmother‘s neck. I wasn’t used to seeing animals fur with the head still on it.

I remember seeing the fox stole, I think my Aunt Irene had it. I thought it was pretty morbid — head and all! I wonder if anyone else has a picture of their ancestors with a fox stole? Well, needless to say the picture  is a keepsake to me!

Minnie Viola Russell Kerby and Andrew Ethelbert Kerby 1923

Minnie Viola Russell Kerby and Andrew Ethelbert Kerby 1923

Hey Kerby cousins out there… do you have any more info on the fox stole?


Picture perfect…

was the day this photograph ca 1930 was made. Minnie Viola Russell who was married to Andrew Ethelbert Kerby and her family lived in Florence; and on this day all but one daughter would be pictured with their mother. Those little twins lived into their nineties. Irene was the soft voiced one and seemed be the mother figure to others though childless; studied and down-to-earth is how she might be described. Pauline, on the other hand, well, was Pauline. She was talkative and never met a stranger. Much to her dismay as she aged her hearing became less acute and that must have been frustrating for her.

The twins and their younger sister, Marie, would sing on the radio in their youth. And, oh how you would love to hear these two little petite dynamos talk of their childhood, of their courting years, and about the close knit family life they lived at home with their Mama and Papa. One story Pauline could tell in her adulthood for then there was no fear of getting in to trouble, had to do with dolls that she and Irene received from a relative that Pauline thought favored Irene juuussst a little bit. Pauline unwrapped Irene’s doll enough to see that the porcelain face was cracked. So, little miss priss went about re-wrapping the doll and…

exchanging the gift tag with the one on her package. So on Christmas, when presents were unwrapped, Pauline was happy with her perfect doll.

Pauline was the contest winning queen back in her day. She won lots of prizes and really nice things like a boat, a car, and washer and dryers. She had a method to the contests and she was good at her hobby. It was Irene who was the keeper of the memories and treasures of the family. At Irene’s death she still had the original trundle bed that all her mother’s children were born on over a span of a hundred years even at that point in time, a pump organ, and an antique view finder with all the scenes on cards still with it. And, that is not even to mention all the treasures of family photos over the years.

By the way, you don’t believe that Harriet and Barbara middle name stuff, do you? The twins felt left out because they had no middle names, so they adopted the names of their favorite Kerby relatives for their middle names. Thus, Irene Harriet Kerby and Pauline Barbara Kerby were born. These little ladies were a delight to be around. The last time they attended the Sweetwater event was when their great grand-niece took them. They were the hit of the event that year. They grew up near Sweetwater, so it was always special to them.

Minnie Viola Russell Kerby and Daughters