Grandma’s photos: the 1940s

From the photo albums of my grandmother, Gladys Corrine Walker.  She was born in 1897 and the entries just prior to this one have followed her life up till now.  My uncle’s words come from this interview in Tinplate Times.

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In the 1940s, my grandmother worked as an elevator operator at the Seattle Federal Building.  (She had done the same job at the Standard Furniture Company in the 30s.)

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Gladys (left) at the Federal Building
During World War II, she invited many young soldiers home for a home cooked dinner.  They called her “mom” and many signed a guest book which I still have and will share in a later post.

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Gladys with her sister, Lou’s, daughter Jerry.
As soon as she was old enough, my mother, Ginger, moved in with Gladys.

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Ginger (left) and a friend
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Ginger (left)
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I wonder if this was the same occasion.
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Ginger (right)
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Ginger in the garden
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Ginger with Skippy and Penny
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with Penny and Skippy
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Skippy on the back porch
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Penny (who I can guarantee was doted on despite the appearance of doghouse and chain)
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Skippy in snow
Gladys’s husband Harry was around some of the time but was mostly off fishing.

Her husband, Harry Walker, in the garden.

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with Penny
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Penny and Harry
Harry was gone fishing for long stretches of time.  His boat was the Eden.

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back of the photo above
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Harry, center, with hunting buddies
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Harry after going hunting.
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Harry’s father and mother
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Gladys watering in her front yard at 537 N 66th
(By the time I came along in the 1950s and spent most of my childhood at this house, the trees in front and the hedge next to the lawn had been removed and the front window had a window box and shutters, and the 3000 square foot lot was packed with flowers.)

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Gladys in her garden

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in the side garden, a narrow space between two houses.  Later that window would have a window box.
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a teeny tiny picture of her on her bike
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another tiny photo of Ginger on a bike (not Gladys’s garden)
Some of the photos are so tiny they must have come off of a proof sheet.

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in the kitchen; Gladys always had a cat.
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Gladys on her well kept parking strip.
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edging the lawn with a couple of friends
Because I know more about my mother’s life in the 40s, I will give her a separate entry (next).

Gladys’s son Allison (Al) Cox tells about his life in the 40s:

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 Al’s photos sent to Gladys from Alaska:

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Al Cox
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Al (center); sending his mom flowers?
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Above: this bunk with pictures of his girlfriend and his mom

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pals and/or coworkers
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He included some plant photos for her:

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water lilies
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lupines
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skunk cabbage
Al’s story continues:

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Irene
Irene was an accomplished, intelligent, and fashionable woman who loved to create elegant parties and dinners. She had a son, George, and a daughter, Sylvia.  Her being older than Al was not quite approved of by society, it seems.  Note how in the wedding announcement, if the woman is older, her age is listed simply as “legal”.

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Irene and Gladys, Al and Irene
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Al in Honolulu
Al must have provided the costume for the photo below, which is a tiny little photo and I can’t tell if it’s my mother, Ginger, or Irene.  I’m guessing Irene.

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In about 1946, Gladys’s first of two grandchildren, Jonathan Allison Cox, was born.  (She also doted on her step grandchild, Irene’s son George.)

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Al and John
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Irene’s daughter Sylvia with John
Sylvia Robbins has fascinated me since I first learned of her existence when I was in my 20s.  She ran away from home in her late teens, before I was born, and disappeared for years, returning finally in the 80s (I think), but I never met her and she was never mentioned when I was a child.

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Skippy on the back porch in snow
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with John by her new greenhouse
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Harry and John
 

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view from back of the house in snow, before she had time in her life to garden extensively
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Gladys and John

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John and a dog named Vonnie.
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John in the back yard that was later my back yard!
In the early 50s, Al sold the 6309 12th NE house in the previous two photos to my mom and dad; it is only as I put this album together than it clicks into place that he, Irene, and John and Sylvia had lived there first.

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little John in what was later my sandbox 😉 at 6309 12th NE, Seattle
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Harry Walker and John
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John in Gladys’s back yard
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with the granddaughter of Gladys’ sister, Lou
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John grew up loving dogs.  Let’s jump ahead to a photo of him with his own childhood dog, a dog that I remember.

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John and Prince, 1959, and Ginger to the far right
He next began to raise St Bernard dogs, and eventually had a champion St Bernard named Kris, who you can enjoy in this video.  You’ll see grown up John running with Kris, the “Most Titled Saint Bernard Champion (39 AKC & SBCA titles)” in 2007.  John’s Youtube channel has several more dog show videos.

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Gladys and John, future dog whisperer
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John at the Woodland Park Zoo pony rides, a short walk from Gladys’s house.
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The green house with a young fellow named Gerry.
 

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Gladys at a birthday party
(How I wish I still had that painting of boats that hung on her wall during my childhood.)

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