Friday, September 5, 2014

FORGIVE ME, COUSIN JESSIE...


I spent a couple of days looking at the Sepia Saturday prompt – the photo of the hurdy-gurdy man and his little monkey – wondering where I’d seen it before.
          I knew I hadn’t, of course.
          But there was something familiar about it, something that just grabbed me by the neck and wouldn’t let go. I thought about it all Thursday and Friday morning while doing errands, doing laundry, cleaning house.
          I kept going back to my computer to look again at the photo. It wasn’t the man in his soft hat and jacket (with lovely hands), and it wasn’t the little girl with her handkerchief balled up in her fist and her arm pulled tight across her chest...
          ...it was the monkey.
         
It was something about the monkey.

And then I remembered.
          I went dashing up the stairs to the second floor closet where the boxes of family photos are stashed, and went to work, and found what I was looking for inside of ten minutes.

This is a photograph of my grandfather’s cousin, Jessie Collins Gould, who was born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1885; she’s on the back porch of the family cottage in East Boothbay, sitting in a rocker in her white summer dress – all lace and frill – with a locket around her neck and a white hat perched jauntily on her head.

I’m expecting thunderbolts for saying this, but...

...she looks like the monkey.

26 comments:

  1. It's a good thing cousin Jessie has probably already gone to that great hurdy gurdy in the sky by now because I don't think you'd be getting any Christmas presents from her this year. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm laughing, too -- I don't remember Jessie, but I remember her brother, Amasa. My father said that Jessie was nice, but that Amasa was kind of a creep!

      Delete
  2. Poor Jessie! I'm afraid I'm having trouble seeing what you see in that picture of her? Beauty & whatever is in the eye of the beholder, I guess???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's mostly the tip of her head, the set of her mouth, the angle of the hat, I think...or the hat itself. Whatever it is, the two of them are so similar to me.

      Delete
  3. I have a couple of favorite authors who always have an unexpected twist at the end of the story but you are right up there with them. I just wasn't expecting that end. It came right out of left field !! I now knight you Deb Twistintheend Gould !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does that make me a Dame? Hmmmmm...I'm honored (I think), although "Dame Deborah" is a title I just can't get my head around.

      Delete
  4. They do seem to have similar expressions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you...you're the first one to see the connection!

      Delete
  5. Too funny!! My sister used to get really insulted when my mother referred to her as a little monkey. She carried that as a bitter memory all her life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I was little and had long braids, my grandfather would say I was a little monkey -- I never felt insulted, though! Funny, the things we carry...

      Delete
  6. Ha! You are so funny! Kinda mean, but still very funny.

    Kathy M.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't say it to be unkind...it's just that the monkey, in its little hat and pose, looks so human -- and Jessie has those same characteristics in her photo!

      Delete
  7. I also knew there was a link (good old evolution?) to some of my relations with that monkey. Good thing you had just the right pose of one of yours. We're all just animals!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've all got links to that little fellow, haven't we? And in more ways than one, methinks!

      Delete
  8. Oh yes, sorry but I do see the connection - it's the hat of course!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree...it's the hat; it's also the "feel" of the two, somehow. Whatever it is, it's certainly stirred up a lot of people!

      Delete
  9. I agree with Wendy, good thing Jessie is no longer around to read your blog :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what I've heard about Jessie (from my father), she would have laughed about it! We'll see, though--I'm watching out for lightning.

      Delete
  10. You were definitely on a roll with this post. Not sure about Jessie though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I worry, Bob, where my mind runs when I let myself go! My hunch is, though, that Sepians understand completely!

      Delete
  11. Oh Deb - you made me laugh. I hope that thunderbolt doesn't get you ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far, so good, Alex! I think I'm outta the woods...

      Delete
  12. What a twist in the tale! or should I say tail? Amusing and unexpected Deb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie herself had a good sense of humor (said my father); I certainly hope so, or my goose is cooked for sure!

      Delete
  13. I now have tear streaming down my face! Very funny!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello, I enjoy reading through your article. I like to write a little comment to support you.


    Here is my web page ... how to get pregnant nhs

    ReplyDelete