I look forward to the Smile-for-the-camera Carnivals because of
the challenge of selecting just the right picture(s) for the category. I regret that time constraints have made me miss the last few. This time it really was easy and I didn’t have to look very deep into the family archives. In fact the picture was as close as the top of the page. My header picture, a family portrait of my great grandfather Robert Bruce Cheek’s family takin in Mangum, Oklahoma Territory, around 1903. There are many more pictures in my treasury that would fit, but I have always been fascinated by the sartorial contrasts in this family portrait.
The patriarch is wearing an obviously well-worn standard suit of the era. The mother, Carrie Savanah Adams Cheek, obviously took a little more time to get ready for the photographer, what doesn’t show with her hands folded across her lap, is the presence of the final member of the family, Roy Bruce, who will be born later in the year. The stars are obviously big brother, Joseph Marion (my grandfather) and big sister, Bertie Columbia. They are definitely stylin’. The other boys are not too impressed with the whole process and would obviously prefer to be somewhere else. I really like the haphazard buttoning of the jacket on my great uncle Robert Luther. Unfortunately a few years later he would be killed in France in “the war to end all wars.” The best dressed of all may be the doll held by Annabelle, but I just couldn’t enlarge enough to be sure.
I am eagerly anticipating the next carnival.