Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Girl Who Never Smiled

I will start off this post by saying that the title of my layout is a slight exaggeration- one of those 'literary license' types of things.  Family lore has it that Grandma, whose name was Adelaide Kent, didn't like having her photo taken because she was so self-conscious about her crooked teeth. As far as I know, there's not a single photo of her smiling or showing her teeth during the years she had all her own teeth. But as far as her 'never smiling', that just has to be an exaggeration, because Grandma was known for her wit and sense of humor. She didn't develop that in her later years, she had it all her life. So, the title sounds kind of dramatic and cute, but it's not really the truth at all. But as the artist and designer of the layout, I can pretty much tell the story I want!

The reason I chose to do a layout about my Grandma Adelaide Kent Clark, is because yesterday morning I was browsing on, and discovered a new-to-me feature, of family photos. I innocently clicked on the button that instructed me to view my family photos, and a page opened with dozens of my ancestors photos others had uploaded there. The best find of all was the gorgeous photo of my Grandma that's on the left side of the layout. I had never seen in before! But I fell in love with the image- her dark, deep-set eyes, her slightly parted lips, almost like she's softly exhaling because the photographer is finally finished! I'd date the photo around 1910-1912,  before her marriage to my Grandpa Clark in 1912.

Grandma was a real tomboy in her young years, not because she didn't like fine things, or being a girl, but because she loved to ride horses and lived on a ranch. If memory serves me, she met my Grandpa when she was serving as cook on a chuck wagon up in the wilderness of the northern Cache Valley in Utah, when my Grandpa, Ernest Ephraim Clark was working. Grandma was a tiny little thing, not much more than 5' tall, and probably weighed less than 100 pounds. But she was as tough as nails, and could do practically anything: cooking, sewing, farming, ranching, canning, caring for animals, and all of the myriad responsibilities she had on the family ranch, and in society. Grandma was musical, and had a lovely alto voice. Although she didn't play the piano herself (to my knowledge) she made sure her five children received a musical education. In fact, two of her daughters, my Aunts Mary and Louise, were music teachers and performers all of their lives. Most of the grandchildren were musical too, including a fair smattering of music teachers and performers in the bunch. She would be proud!

The Clark family was full of storytellers. Although Grandma wasn't the family storyteller, she was often the subject of some of these stories. My favorite involves the time she called Grandpa a Great Big Nut.  I'm sure that was pretty much as colorful as her language got, unless you count the time she used the "S Word". (I hope you click on that link, because it's a fun story, and will give you another idea of her character).

So, here it is, Grandma as a young girl, solemn and unsmiling, and as an older woman, laughing and enjoying herself. Grandma had an infectious laugh, and although she could scold and lecture with the best of them, my fondest memories of her are her laughter and gentle words.  And every birthday, she would call me first thing in the morning to sing 'Happy Birthday' to me. I wish I could hear that sweet voice, and see that sweet smile again.


Katalina-Marie Kruszewski said...

what a great page of your grandma!

Shemaine Smith said...

What a beautiful page.

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