Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Oh My, Oh My, OH MY!

After the gloomy groups that were featured last week, I thought I’d cheer you up with a picture of this happy family.  Their names were written on the margin of the negative from the Simmon’s Studio collection.  

They are Marvin and Kathryn Colster along with their two children, Jerry and Jane.  

Marvin Colster was a life-long resident of Johnson County born  to John Frederick and May (Gardner) Colster on June 30, 1914. He was raised northeast of Holden. Both he and Kathryn attended Centerview High School.

Kathryn was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Dudley who lived just south of Centerview.  She married Marvin on October 7, 1939 in Warrensburg at the home of the Rev. J.C. Hollyman.  They made their home on the Porter Murray farm, 9 miles northeast of Holden.  

Marvin was a bulk agent for DX Sunray and was a member of the Elks Lodge and Moose Lodge.  He was a deacon and elder in the Presbyterian Church.  Kathryn was a member of the staff of the farm bureau in the courthouse.

Their son Jerry Marvin Colster, was born August 25, 1941.  I’m not sure about the birthdate of the daughter, Jane Elizabeth (Nolte).

After Marvin’s death on October 25, 1973, Kathryn married Frank Wells, a former state representative. He passed away and she married Lyle Jacoby.  Lyle and Kathryn spent their final years at Country Club Care Center in Warrensburg.

The cute little boy, Jerry, was in the Missouri National Guard for a while serving with the 635th Aviation Battalion in Warrensburg.  I was in the 635th at the same time and thought Jerry was an intelligent and very funny fellow. I Googled him for this article so I could add a few where-is-he-now type details. Here's what I found:

The last information I could find about him was that he was living in Columbia, MO where he was arrested in January, 2015 at the age of 73 for having sex multiple times with an underage boy.  He was supposed to be sentenced on May 11, after pleading guilty to statutory rape, but I couldn’t find that record.

Now all I can do is shake my head and mutter, "Oh my..."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

They Didn't Want to Be There

In this day and age, when someone has their picture taken, they usually smile.  It's not uncommon, though, to see people looking stern in older photographs.  Here are some images found in the Simmon's Studio collection where the family members don't just look stern.  They look just plain mad.  

Here is an attractive picture to hang over the fireplace.  The father and daughter look as if they are about to attack someone, and the mother looks like she'd be glad to see them do it.

The mom looks happy in this picture.

But the little girls definitely didn't want to be there.

If someone has any information about the people in either of these pictures, please leave a message in the comment section.

Thanks to Joann Cross who left this comment on Facebook about last week's picture: 

 I have the brochure which contains this pic. This is the Junior Dept., Sunday School, First Baptist Church. The brochure (with other pics) shows the overcrowding conditions of the church; therefore, action was taken to build the educational building connected to the Church. This was in the early 1950's with Dr. Earl Harding as the Pastor. (I was a member of Young Married People's class and we met at Sweeney-Phillips.) Overcrowding conditions is a GOOD church attendance problem!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Are You In This Picture?

I like group photographs from the Simmon's Studio collection because there's a good chance of someone recognizing themselves and telling me what the shot is all about.  Take this elementary class, for instance.

What a great looking group of kids. That's quite an extensive row of adults behind them, though - more than is usual for a school class.  Can anybody tell me who they are and the story behind this picture?

Family shots are harder to find out about.  When you get a row of just three or four people, there's much less chance of anyone recognizing themselves in the picture.

Here's one that I call "Dad Mom Son" although I'm not positive that that is their relationship.  It just seems more likely than "Three Random Strangers."

If anyone has any information about either picture, please leave a comment.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Photograph Discovered of World's Handsomest Man

Sixty-nine years ago, 21-year-old Buddy Baker looked in the mirror and said to himself, "Am I ever good looking.  I need a picture of this."  So he went to Simmon's Studio and had this picture taken.

We're fortunate to have this image of perfect male beauty preserved for future generations, but had this photograph not been taken, other images of Buddy Baker exist that are just as thrilling.

For example, here's one I took today of the same man.

Buddy has volunteered to be the grounds keeper at the Historical Society.  In addition to mowing the grass for the entire campus, he's cleaning up the lot around the old Davis Store.  That includes moving the mounds of broken bricks that have been heaped up against the store for several years now.  He's dug out about 12 feet along the north wall.

He doesn't have much further to go.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

As Negatives Dissolve

This was once a very well-composed photograph.

No matter where you start in this picture, the faces all turned in the same direction lead your eye to the speaker at the far left who was once the focal point of this composition. However, sixty years in storage at less-than-optimum conditions have degraded the edges so much that the speaker has all but disappeared making this picture now merely a disorganized crowd scene.

There are still a lot of fun "discoveries" in it - like the child at the bottom of the picture who has turned to see what the photographer is doing.  The ladys' hats are retro and cool, but the main attraction of this old picture is the mystery.

From the size of the crowd, I would guess this was a major event back in the late 40s or early 50s, but it's now forgotten.  Very few people in this picture are still alive, but, if you are one of the attendees, please leave a comment telling the rest of us where this dinner took place and what happened there.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Three Old Men

I'm a big fan of The History Channel's Ancient Aliens.  I love the logic that the show uses.  They will display some mysterious artifact and then say, "While there is no evidence that this thing was used by ancient aliens, there is also no evidence that it wasn't.  Might it then be possible that this was indeed carried to Earth by a flying saucer?"

Well, that sounds reasonable.  And it leads me to wonder about this picture I found in the Historical Society's collection of negatives from Simmons Studio.

While there is no evidence that these three gentlemen were the last surviving members of the Jesse James gang, there is also no evidence that they weren't. Might it then be possible that they indeed came to Warrensburg in the late 1940s to rob the bank, saw the Simmons Studio sign and decided to have their picture taken first?

The fact that there is no mention of a bank robbery in Warrensburg by three old men at that time only suggests that the desire to reform and live an honest life can suddenly hit anyone at any time.

If someone has a better theory about this picture, I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Aunt Samanthy Rules the Roost!

Last week I published this picture that I found in the Simmons Studio collection of old negatives.  I asked if anyone had any idea who these people were.

I got help from Rosalee Welling, Robbie Dyer, and Deleta Williams in indentifying these members of the 1952 Junior Class.  Deleta's hint that they were the cast and crew of the Junior Class play, led Lisa Irle to the Warrensburg High School year book where we found more information about the play.

So here they are from Aunt Samanthy Rules the Roost:

Back row left to right: 

Carolyn Ekerm, (PE teacher and director) 
Phyllis Boland (Props) 
Lester Volentine (Lucien Littlefield, a farmer)
Wallace Sheridan (Lights)
Charles Senior (Lights)
Deleta Terry (props) 
Donna Brant (Annie Ambrose, the village dressmaker)

Front row left to right: 

Elnora Bryson (Blanche Bowers, a woman of few words)
Audrey Leigh (Frank Fairfield, who likes Sophie)
LaRena Hunt (Sophie Simpkins, Samanthy's younger niece)
Patsy Price (Aunt Samanthy, an old maid)
Bill Ridge (Blair Boswell, who likes Serena)
Sue Bancroft (Serena Simpkins, her older niece)
Richard Mason (Lawrence Lovewell, a stranger) 
Joann Swope (Polly Paine, maid at the Simpkins’)

This picture was taken on the stage of the Warrensburg High School - the building that is now Martin Warren Elementary.