October 6, 2021


When I found this old photo of Aunt Della and Uncle Richard, I was really surprised how happy they looked together!  It was probably taken not long after they got married, and many years before I was born.  She had the loveliest dimples, which are clearly showing in her smile here.  The fact that they actually were holding hands made me very happy, too. The photo was made when they were visiting her family at the log house in Athens.

By the time I knew them, their daughter Juanita was almost grown and she and her mother seemed almost like sisters who enjoyed having fun together.  Uncle Richard was away from home much of the time with his railroad job, and when he was there, he usually sat in an overstuffed chair in the living room, talking loudly about his recent trips and smoking big smelly cigars.  Aunt Della and Juanita would roll their eyes at each other as he rambled on, and seemed relieved when he went out to sit on the porch or off to bed. 

He did have a rather abrasive manner, but he truly loved Della and Juanita.  He made sure Juanita learned to swim and took them to Georgia and Florida beaches for summer vacations. He worked hard to buy their little brick bungalow in the up and coming West End neighborhood after living several years in apartments. When he was away on his railway circuit, he often sent postcards or notes to “the girls” and brought souvenirs home when he went to a new place.

I like to look at this photo and imagine them happy together—not just early in their marriage, but also in later years.  When he was away from home, he was working to make their life in Atlanta better.  He deserved a cigar and a conversation when he came home!

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