February 28, 2016

Postcards From The Past

Many of us who collect vintage and antique items know the questions
that come to mind when we fall in love with a found item.
We see the names printed neatly inside old books and wonder -
whose hands held these pages of print?
We find letters lovingly written from long ago and wonder
who these people were.  Don't we?
I know I do.
It's part of the enjoyment of these found treasures.
Often, we are unable to know the origin of our finds.
Recently, I got very lucky.
This is the story of a cheeky little postcard from 1916.

Isn't this adorable?  I fell in love with it.

Miss Ode received a sweet postcard from her "Big Boy".
It reads:
"Well I'll write your letter so that it will reach you soon after your arrival
in New York.  Your long letter came today and I was glad to get it.  Here's hoping you have great success.  Nance left today for Chicago and Peyton went with her.  Saw Ralph today and he didn't or rather said he couldn't tell me what was said about picture.
Your Big Boy"

What picture?  What's happening in New York?
Did she live in Houston?
Ooooh, I love a mystery.
Thanks to an edition of the El Paso Herald dated January 26, 1916-
I have a few answers.
Miss Ode Akin did live in Houston.
In January of 1916, she was the guest of honor at a 
delightfully informal dance, given by her hostess and cousin,
Miss Nancy Edwards.
Ode's middle initial E stands for Edwards, her mother's maiden name.

 Miss Ode had just returned from several months in New York where she devoted several months to the earnest study of vocal music.
March 30, 1917
Houston Post

 Ode was mentioned quite a bit in the Society pages.
April 8, 1917
Houston Post

Ode and Henry were married in El Paso on September 10, 1919.
She 23.  Henry was  24.

They had four children:
Ode Akin Schumacher Williamson 1924-2001
Elizabeth Palmer Schumacher Woodling 1926-2011
Leila Edwards Schumacher-- 1929
 Henry Avery Schumacher, Jr. 1927-1992

I love how the marriage caused "considerable interest".
He and Ode were frequently mentioned together in the newspapers
in El Paso.

50th Anniversary announcement- 1969
Houston, Texas

I've acquired a lot of info to share from a post card in a collection, I know.
I am one of those people that just can't let it go....
I wanted to know who Ode was. 
I spent the entire day researching and reading all I could find.
I've had this postcard for years and never felt compelled
to investigate who the sender or the recipient of this funny postcard were.
But now, I had questions.

Ode lived in West U for many years and is buried in 
Forest Park Cemetery here in Houston.
I wish I could show you the house they lived in, but like many homes in West U, it seems like it was torn down and a new home built in 2008.

I have a strange urge to return her postcard.

During my search, I came across a possible relative and reached out to her
by email, hoping by some slim chance that I would get a reply.

The next morning, I received an email from Elizabeth,
the granddaughter of Miss Ode.
 I was so excited to hear from her and she was so kind to share a few photos of her grandmother with me.
Elizabeth spoke of sitting at the piano with Ode and singing as a child.
She spoke of her memory of Ode going "marketing"  
in full hat, hose and gloves.
And also of her mother's memories of Ode singing and playing piano after she had put them to bed for the evening.
A few days later, Elizabeth gifted me with a copy of her own labor of love,
a historical document tracing her family back to the 1700's.

Ninety two pages of photos and information that I poured over -
amazing facts and revelations about how the family played an
important role in the early days of Texas settlers.
Ode's grandfather, Peyton Edwards and her great grandfather, Haden Edwards, played huge roles in Texas' independence from Mexico.

The Edwards Aquifer, Edwards Plateau, Edwards County-
named for Haden Edwards.

Elizabeth did have a photo of Ode and her children 
in front of their home in Houston, so I am able to show you after all.


And currently, this home stands at the address.
I wonder if the owners know the history of the family 
that came before them.
I found it fascinating.

Thank you so much, Elizabeth.
I think your Grandmother would be so proud
of your work to preserve the family history.

My favorite tidbit that Elizabeth shared-
Henry was Big Boy, after all.
He changed it in later years to Big Man.
I found several sports news articles referring to him as 
Big Henry Schumacher.

They had a long and hopefully, happy life together.
I found mentions of them together as early as 1914.

Ode passed away in 1987 at the age of 91.
Henry later passed away in 1992 at the age 0f 97.

I loved their story.

What's in your collection waiting to be discovered?

I'm joining the ladies at these parties:

Thoughts of Home Thursday
Vintage Charm

P.S. I have joined Instagram and would love for you to follow!
See sidebar.

February 7, 2016

Nature Girl in Winter

Yes, I'm that person who sees the beauty in 
lumpy, bumpy, scarred and aged.
I guess because in winter, I tend to resemble such things
as lumpy, bumpy, scarred and aged.

 Chalky white and wrinkled.

A few age spots and deepened lines...
brittle even, in some places.

But just look at the richness of the colors.

Beautifully aged and more interesting than before-
I love this more than when it was freshly cut from the tree.

Things sprouting where they shouldn't...
but beautiful nonetheless.

I hope to embrace the coming years - and they are coming fast-
and see the new beauty in the lumpy, bumpy, scarred 
and aged version of myself.

I lived it all.

The laughter, the pain, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Yes, they are all accounted for.

I want to choose to see the beauty.

I hope you want to choose it, too.