Sepia Saturday – Signs of the Times

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. If you want to play along, sign up to the weekly Linky List, try to visit as many of the other participants as possible, and have fun. Click here to pay a visit:  Sepia Saturday

This week’s prompt photo features advertisements painted on the side of a building. I have a photo for this!

My grandparents, Charles and Abbie (Webber) Smith owned a truck stop in southeastern Iowa at the junction of highways 63 and 149. This intersection, near the small town of Hedrick, was known locally as the Hedrick Y. A previous post, Charles’ and Abbie’s Place, provides a view of the “Y” and a little more of this family story (including me as a baby).

The photograph below, dated 1950, provides a glimpse of the advertisements painted on the side of the building. My grandmother’s handwriting identifies the date and names.

A closer look reveals the names “Smith & Smith” at the top. The next line is unreadable. And below center is an advertisement for Robin Hood Flour.

My mom and I are in the photo below, most likely taken at Easter 1954. We are standing in front of the same wall, which has been painted over, although the original paint still show through. I guess my grandpa wasn’t concerned with the need for an additional coat of paint. A metal sign has been added to the roof – featuring a Coca-cola bottle and my grandparent’s names, Charles & Abbie. The water pump is visible in both pictures, and it looks like a TV antenna now rises above the chimney. A Conoco sign is visible in the background, indicating that there had been a change from the Sinclair Petroleum franchise.

A Joe Lewis poster had a prominent place on a post inside. Unfortunately the photo is blurry. I searched for a poster like it on the internet, but came up empty.

The picture below was taken during demolition of the building, which had undergone some changes from the previous photo. The roof line is different and the photo shows the opposite side of the building, now minus the attached garage. The second door and a window had also been eliminated.

There is another advertisement for Robin Hood Flour (Milled from ????). Maybe it says “Milled from Washed Wheat,” as shown on the sign at right. Also on the side of the building: “Smith & Smith” and “Gasoline.”

I love that the business was named equally for my grandmother and grandfather. Running the business was certainly a joint effort.

That looks like my grandfather on the roof.

A new building replaced the original and my final photograph of Charles’ and Abbie’s truck stop is of a couple of posters visible inside the new digs. One promotes Marlboro cigarettes for women and I think the other is for Kool cigarettes. A local girl used to come and play with me when I was there and we are enjoying the benefits of life at a truck stop.

The photograph below does not include any signage. There must have been a lot of rain some time during or before August of 1958, as this picture shows some minor flooding on the property. The building is a little house that sat behind the truck stop. My great aunt and uncle lived there for several years.

I included this because water and flooding have been much on our minds. Austin, TX has been under a boil water order for several days now due to flooding to the north and west of us that damaged and destroyed homes and lots of property, overfilled the Highland Lakes in central Texas, and overloaded our water treatment facilities. We have been taxed with doing what we can to conserve water and treat our own water for drinking and cooking.

And this happened.

We had stored some water jugs in the closet years ago, so have been putting them to good use. I got one out and noticed it was leaking. I got out this sun tea jar (advertisement on it, so this actually fits the theme!) and began to transfer the water from the jug to the jar. And then…. Ack!!!

I wondered if drinking scorpion infused tea would give me super powers. I chose not to test it out.

Being under a boil water order and the necessity of conserving water to get out from under it certainly makes a person more mindful. We hope the restrictions will be lifted late tomorrow.

The Secret Life of Bloggers #2

Secret Life of BloggersI’m back for my second installment. If you are new to The Secret Life of Bloggers, here’s the scoop as described at World Turned Upside Down:

All you have to do is take a photo of something you did or experienced each day of the week and post your photos each Friday. You can include captions about what was happening when the photo was taken or a short statement about your day.

It’s been fun – something to focus on each day. Here’s my week in photographs.

Friday 1-17-2014  

2014.01.17 Tina leaves

Daughter #2 leaves for college out of state. Tears in my eyes.

2014.01.17 gift2014.01.17 Merry brings gifts

Just what the doctor ordered. More tears.

Saturday 1-18-2014


Rusted trees. No, wait…. that’s pollen. Achoo!

Sunday 1-19-2014



Monday 1-20-2014

DSCN3344We will sit and look cute for the picture because you have treats in your hand.

Tuesday 1-21-2014

2014.01.22 cropWatching Gilmore Girls without my girl.

Wednesday 1-22-2014

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In the absence of Daughter #2, Dreamboat and I take in the view from her bed. A comfortable spot for my morning quiet time.

Thursday 1-23-2014

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My friend came over to teach me something simple that I can crochet in the coming days. As we began to work this potholder, I went to a drawer and pulled out one that my grandmother made. I am sure it is the same pattern.

The Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party #1

Secret Life of BloggersI’ve been letting things go around here…. chemo, daughter #1’s wedding, a cold, daughter #2 leaving for a new college experience out of state, preparations of mind and body for a stem cell transplant … just no time or energy for this little blog. So when I saw “The Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party”, I thought I’d give it a try.

Here is info about the blogging party as described at World Turned Upside Down:

All you have to do is take a photo of something you did or experienced each day of the week and post your photos each Friday. You can include captions about what was happening when the photo was taken or a short statement about your day.

As bloggers, photographs are a huge component to telling a story. Being forced to take one photo everyday also helps you get better at telling stories through pictures. It really makes you think about if you are telling the story in the best way you can. Plus, it will be great fun getting to see the secret background lives of our blogging friends. 🙂

I like the idea of taking a picture every day – even if I don’t party every week. So here is my first attempt (even though it is actually week 2).


2014.01.13 Glassware

We borrowed tons of glassware to use as candleholders at my daughter’s wedding on New Year’s Eve. This is the last of the glassware needing to be cleaned of wax and smoke. Whew! Glad that’s over!



The Christmas decorations were finally put away and it was time to return knick knacks to their pre-Christmas locations. These adorable birds (pitcher, cream and sugar, and one remaining salt shaker) belonged to my grandmother Abbie Smith Brender nee Webber. I love them! This time I put down some different linens for them to perch on. I haven’t decided if I like them on these linens or not.



Although I need to do this every day, I don’t. When I do, my life and my health and my attitude are better. This was a lovely warm day and I feel most like praying and meditating when I can be outside. On the table are the remains of a snack – popcorn and a chai latte. The books are One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, Illuminated Prayers by Marianne Williamson, Ten Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo, and the open book is The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. The index cards are my brief notecard version of How to Have a Good Day Every Day by Norman Vincent Peale.


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I call this my Altar of Encouragement. The table holds cards and gifts I have received from family and friends during cancer treatment. I had to take it down so the Christmas tree could go in this spot. Today I took care of the plants and set up the altar again. It is right where I can see it from my favorite spot on the couch.


2014.01.16 No cancer2Here I am holding the results of a bone marrow biopsy and a CT scan that indicate no evidence of cancer. We have kicked this lymphoma into remission. Now that I am in remission, I can go forward with a stem cell transplant.

Well, that’s my life this week. I like taking a picture every day, but some days I found it hard to take just one or at least to post just one. I’ll try to do this again next week.