1946 - A Graduation
I never looked this good in my life - before, at the time, or any time since these pictures were taken. Just put it down as good picture taking and enhancing.
Each of these pictures came back to me many years after I gave it to a person that I loved deeply.
The one on the right is copied from one, maybe the only remaining one, of my Austin High (Houston) 1946 graduation pictures. In this picture I'm not wearing the graduation cap which, to my regret, I was wearing when I was playing (or trying to play) a Baritone Horn solo at the graduation ceremony. The cap kept trying to slide off my head - that and my knocking knees did nothing to prevent my embarrassing performance.
The hand written inscription on the picture, now repeated on the copy of the picture, was added before I gave Daddy the picture in 1946.
When I went to Ventura, California, in April of 1978, to visit him (in a hospital) during his last illness, the original of the picture was on a smoking stand in his trailer home and near his bedside. I was his only child.
The picture on the left was given by me to Mama (not Mother) at about the same time (1946) as the other. Both pictures were only recently (Jan 2004) recovered from the keepsakes saved by Mother until her death in April of 1990 at the age of eighty-one, and then by my elder son Kevin while I was away in the tropics and until recently. I guess Mother had recovered the picture when Mama died in April of 1970 at the age of eighty-five.
Sometimes I wish that, in addition to the picture, someone in the family had saved Mama's discarded Garrett's Snuff cans. We would have been semi-wealthy after putting those collector's items on the open market because we would have had many cans to sell. Mama was a world class champion snuff dipper.