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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, January 12, 2019

My Mother's 1938 Baby Book

My Mother, Eleanor Elaine Reese Huneycutt, was born 5/3/1938 in Greenville, Greenville County, SC. She was the eldest of 4 children born to William Wilford Reese (aka Wilford William Reese) and Geneva "Ginnie" Margaret Lamb. My Mother died last Fall and I was going through some of her nostalgic ephemera that she had kept. One thing she had was her baby book from 1938-1939. Like most mothers, Ginnie had started the book and kept it up in fits and starts. It's not nearly as full as I would have liked it to have been, but at least it has some stuff. One thing I learned from it was the my Mother was initially called "Elaine" for awhile. I don't know when they changed and began calling her "Eleanor". I love both her first and middle names. Eleanor was after Eleanor Roosevelt. "Elaine" was passed down. I have a sister named Elaine who named her daughter, Virginia "Jenny" Elaine, who named her daughter, Natalie Elaine. So that's 4 generations of Elaines. Both of my sisters' names are favorites of mine, I guess because I love them. Another thing I learned by perusing her baby book again was one of her first words was "Popeye". I'm pretty sure they didn't have a TV in 1938-1939. So how did she know "Popeye"? I only knew him from the old cartoons. I looked it up and Popeye started in 1929 as a comic strip. In 1933, Max Fleischer adapted the Thimble Theatre characters into a series of Popeye the Sailor theatrical cartoon shorts for Paramount Pictures.
These cartoons proved to be among the most popular of the 1930s. This makes me wonder if her parents were reading the comic strips to her or had taken her to movies during her first year? Her father was working during the 1930's as he attended college off and on because of the Great Depression. But did they spend money taking a baby to see movies? Anyway, it made me wonder how a baby knew to say "Popeye". My mother was very smart and quick so it doesn't surprise me that she would pick up something quickly.

Another thing was my Mother was 9 lbs when she was born. That's a big baby for my Grandmother. She miscarried one child. But I remember Mom saying her Father would reprimand them whenever they didn't show their Mother respect. She said he would say, "Your Mother went through the jaws of death to have you and you WILL show her love and respect!" And they did!

Here are my Mother's baby book pages and the digital scrapbook pages I created using them. I scanned the book.








Here is Mother's birth announcement and the digital scrapbook page I made of it.



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