Here he is, looking like the Man of the Year.
He’s just out of high school – the public high school in Newton, Massachusetts – and is about to start his engineering course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This was my father’s favorite photograph of his father,
Sabin Gould, who, as a little boy, apparently spent lots of time at the fire
station just down the street. Tom was the lead horse that hauled one of the
Newton Fire Department’s water tankers, and my grandfather was entranced. He
had a hobby horse – a horse head on a broom stick – and he spent hours
nickering and neighing and trotting all around the back yard of the house on
Boylston Street, pretending to be Tom, the horse. Gardner
The nickname stuck; my grandfather was known as “Tom” all his life to family and friends (except for my grandmother, who called him nothing but
At any rate, here he is.
Three-piece suit (notice the rounded bottom of his vest – not the notched, pointed style); stiff collar, cuffs (and cufflinks, of course); necktie. The vest has a watch pocket – but there’s no watch yet: that came at his MIT graduation in 1910.
I love the haircut: the central part, the tufts over his ears, slight curls at his temples. He’s clean-shaven (I can see the cleft in his chin). And is that a tin wall in the background, or is it some kind of wall covering or drape? Chickering Studios in
One of his most memorable jobs as a civil engineer was the building and installation of the portico that sits over Plymouth Rock – I have a framed certificate that his crew presented to him – sixty-odd signatures beneath a hand-written citation.
And he was a masterful cribbage player! He taught us all to play (I think it was the first card game I ever learned); I remember family gatherings involving cribbage games: single-elimination, multi-generational tournaments that went on for hours after dinner; much laughter and cheering, lots of encouragement. My mother played every time, even though she hadn’t the faintest idea how to play the game – my grandfather said he admired her for her willingness to participate in such a long-standing tradition!
But those suits!
The real deal, indeed.