A Unit of the Center for Appalachian Studies & Services at East Tennessee State University
We felt just a bit waterlogged here at the Archives as we watched the rain fall the past few days, although it is nice to see the plants perk up. Earlier this week, we combatted a few minor leaks (no major damage, just a few ceiling tiles need replaced) due to the heavy bursts of rain. The rain was still falling this morning making it the perfect weather for indoor activities — ahem, such as visiting the Archives?
Here is a picture I pulled from the Mildred Kozsuch Collection. I think this picture is great – partly because it reminds me of my favorite rainy day activity, or tradition, of visiting my grandparents and persuading my grandmother to teach me how to sew or crochet. I must admit that after about 30 minutes or so, I’d give up and we’d do something simpler with glue and popsicle sticks.
Unfortunately, we have no contextual information on this particular photograph (label your photos, folks!). Lack of additional information is common for many of the photographs which end up in an archive. Nevertheless, it is a great photograph which can give us a bit of insight into this lady’s life and her craft. The main subject, of course, is the act of spinning and knitting or crocheting wool. But there are other details. The lady is positioned in front of the bookcase to show off her book collection. The portrait of the man was likely included on purpose — who was he? Could it be her husband or son, perhaps a close brother or uncle, her father? Including a photograph or painting was a common practice in this era of photography and was particularly used to remember the deceased.
I’m still trying to figure out what that oval-shaped object is to the right of the man’s portrait. It looks like it is resting on a cabinet. Any ideas?
One thing is for certain – photos such as these can definitely spark the imagination!
How do you pass the time on a rainy summer day? Do you have any fun rainy day traditions now or when you were a child?