Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sepia Saturday 145–Preparing to Leave

This is part of a series of posts dedicated to the immigration story of Debs Webster and his family.

Sepia Saturday provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.

Sepia Saturday 145 September 29, 2012

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt shows a group of boys with sports gear in tow.  Something’s missing though…yep, you guessed it.  It’s their feet.  According to Alan, feet, or the absence of feet, is the theme this week.

The photo below fits perfectly with this week’s theme.  This is my Grandma Willis Webster.  Well, technically, she was my step-grandma.  But in every way, she was my grandma because she’s the only grandma I ever knew on my mom’s side.

My regular readers may remember that my mom’s mother, Sarah Vasques Madeira, passed away when my mom was very young.  Later, my Grandpa Debs Webster met and married Willis Quillin.

Willis Webster getting ready for the trip to America Sao Paulo Brazil July 1952
Willis Quillin Webster
with Suitcase and Large Trunk
Click to Enlarge
I love how my Grandpa Debs wrote on the edges of this photograph.  Since it’s a little bit hard to read, I’ll tell you what he wrote:
Top ~ She Is Getting
Bottom ~ Ready For The Trip
Left Side ~ In Sao Paulo July 1952
Right Side ~  Casa De Lucy
So, what trip is Grandma Willis getting ready for and who is Lucy?  Again, my regular readers my already be familiar with the trip my Grandma Willis was getting ready for.

In July of 1952 my Grandpa Debs Webster and his family, including my mom, immigrated to the U.S.A. from Brazil.  I started a series of posts recounting their actual journey HERE.

I also wrote a series of posts about how this branch of the Webster family (my Grandpa Debs and his family), who were living in Brazil at the time, made contact again with a relative in the U.S.A.  You can read about that HERE.

So, just who is Lucy?  She was one of my Grandma Willis’ sisters.  The photo above shows Grandma Willis at Lucy’s home in July 1952, the same month the Webster family immigrated to the U.S.A.  They stopped there for a visit.

I’m sure it was wonderful for my Grandma Willis and the rest of the Webster family to visit Willis’ sister Lucy before they immigrated to the U.S.A.  It must have been a very difficult thing for the two sisters to say goodbye.  Willis did make a visit to Brazil later and my mom thinks that Lucy made a trip to the U.S.A. for a visit as well.  Lucy’s mom, Helena, was also immigrating with Grandma Willis and her family.  So that must have been even more difficult for Lucy.

Moving far away from family is difficult even in today’s world of email, Facebook, Skype, etc.   I can’t imagine how unbearable it must have been back then without all of our modern technological conveniences.

To see what other Sepia Saturday participants have written this week, click HERE.

Thanks for reading!


Copyright © Jana Last 2012

24 comments:

  1. I admire the bravery of all those who migrate. The courage to believe in a better future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pauleen,

      I also admire their bravery. I wonder if I could have done it myself.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. Before reading what yourgrandfather wrote on the edges I thought Willis had this look of being caught by the photographer while hiding something. But her look was not that mysterious after all.
    Come to think of your Brazilean roots, did the Portuguese language survive in your family? Just being curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peter,

      Yes, Portuguese was spoken in our family, specifically by my mom and her parents. I grew up hearing that beautiful language spoken around me during visits with my grandparents. Unfortunately, it was not taught to us kids. I wish it had been though.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. I can't imagine moving so far away from family, or in this case being the one left behind. Why did Lucy stay in Brazil?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,

      Yes, it seems like it would be so difficult! Thankfully Lucy wasn't the only one left behind though. She had other sisters still living there in Brazil. And as to why she stayed there, I think it was because her husband and children were living there.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. It's wonderful that your Grandpa Debs wrote in the edges of the pictures so that you know the significance of the picture! My grandparents passed down so many unmarked pictures and it's such a loss.

    When you said that the theme was absence of feet, I couldn't help but think of the camera I got as a very young girl of probably 9 or 10 and the pictures that I took --I was so often disappointed when I picked the pictures up after they were developed and discovered that they so often had the absence of HEADS! Which is a much more serious problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michelle,

      I am so grateful to my Grandpa Debs for writing on at least some of the photos we have. It really does help a whole lot!

      How great that you had a camera of your own when you were a young girl. Although it must have been quite disappointing to get some of the photos back that weren't "picture perfect." Isn't it great to have digital cameras now that enable us to view the photo before we click the button?

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Indeed, we wouldn't have considered coming to live here in Lanzarote, so far away from England, had there been no broadband. It must have been very hard indeed for the sisters to part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Little Nell,

      I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been for them back then. I'm so grateful for the technologies we have today, especially since a couple of our kids now live in another state.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. This is precious. How hard to move so far away from everybody. Thank you for sharing your family with us.

    Kathy M.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy,

      Thank you so much for your kind comments. I agree with you. It would be terribly hard to move so far away from family and friends.

      Delete
  7. I am so often struck by the courage of our ancestors - traveling by boat across an ocean or wagon train or car in the 1950s so far from family and everything familiar. I'm not sure I would have done it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy,

      I can't say I'd have done it either! Although I'd like to say I would. Yes, our ancestors really did have courage.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. Imagine your grandmother and her family in Brazil kept the post office busy with letters back and forth. Besides long distance phone calls and telegrams that was the only way to stay in touch back then. Can't imagine how hard it was for the family to say goodbye not knowing when they would see each other again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Queen Bee,

      Yes, I imagine they did keep the post office quite busy.

      Thanks so much for reading and for your comments! I really appreciate it.

      Delete
  9. Grandma Willis looks a little mischievous in this photo ;-) She was very brave to move to a strange land so far from home. Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo, Yes, she does look a bit mischievous. I wonder if Grandpa surprised her when he took this photo.

      And yes, she was very brave. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. I often say to my father how much easier it would have been with things like Skype. He could be on the other side of the world, but still call home.

    This is a fun photo, especially the pose with the small suitcase. You just know a fun moment followed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tattered and Lost,

      Isn't Skype great? It's so fun to be able to see our kids who live in a different state now while we're talking to them.

      Ya, I wonder what the conversation was that followed what appeared to be a suprrise photo by my grandpa.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. A lovely lady and wonderfully candid photo. :-) I so agree with you about how hard it must have been for loved ones to separate across the miles -- hard to imagine in this day and age. You're fortunate your grandfather thought to add notes to his photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi ljhlaura,

      Thanks so much for your kind comments. Yes, I'm so glad my grandpa wrote on the edges of the photo. So helpful!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
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