- Slides: 14
A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into. ~Ansel Adams
After World War II ended in 1945, Adrian and Wanda moved to Clarkston, Georgia where Adrian’s parents were living. In 1947, they purchased a piece of property at 102 De. Belle Street backing up to his parents’ house on Indian Creek Drive. The note on the back of the picture was written by Wanda. Pop referred to her father and Ray was her brother who died in 1953. The old Clarkston School is in the background.
Beside being farmers, Adrian’s father and grandfather were home builders in Mississippi. At the age of 29, with the help of his father and brothers, Adrian undertook the challenge of building Wanda her very own home. Remember, she grew up in row houses in Brooklyn where no one owned the property where they lived. Note on the back of the picture written by Adrian.
Their home was the typical post War World II design consisting of two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and a small eat-in kitchen. Summer 1947 This was probably the first picture taken after they moved in. Though they are hard to see, the photo is of Wanda holding Reggie, Aunt Reggie, Raymond, and Adrian. Notice no plants anywhere in the yard.
Because of the lean times that followed the War coupled with a single income, the family budget only allowed for minimal landscaping around the foundation of their home. One can only surmise that there were few places to purchase any type of landscaping plants let alone any perennial or annual plants; but as time goes by, the old photos show the start of Wanda's landscaping of her first home. Summer 1949 – Raymond teaching Andie to walk. By 1949, Wanda and Adrian had planted a few shrubs. Notice that the windows of the house are open.
Summer 1950 There were no air conditioners during this time. We had to find ways to stay cool in the hot Georgia summers. Some were more fun than others. Andie does not look happy to be stuck in a tub with a watermelon. Even today, she‘s not fond of watermelon.
1951 Andie (without a watermelon), Reggie, Raymond filling Reggie’s wash tub “swimming pool. ” The backyard landscaping was very minimal and Wanda was very busy with her growing family. Terry was born in June that summer.
1951 Raymond sitting with Aunt Reggie, Reggie on the floor, Wanda holding a brand new Terry, Andie. Wanda sure looks tired in this picture but the reason is obvious. Raymond was 6, Reggie was almost 5, Andie was about to turn 3. Since Wanda had miscarried a girl between Andie and Terry, she would have had five pregnancies in 7 years.
The heat system was a single floor furnace in the hall between the bedrooms and a small fireplace in the living room. If you look on the far left of this picture, you can see the edge of the fireplace. Reggie (barely visible), Raymond on stool, Andie, Wanda
Another view of the living room. Late 1951 or early 1952. This picture and the previous one were taken on the same day. Reggie, Andie, Adrian, Raymond.
Early 1950 s Notice the tomatoes in the foreground and the corn in the back. Wanda’s summer experiences with her Connecticut relatives on their farm gave her the confidence to provide her family with produce to help feed her own family. As children, Reggie and Raymond remember feeding the chickens and gathering fresh eggs in the morning. Behind the corn is a structure that was probably Granny’s chicken coop. According to Reggie’s memories, our coop was in the back right corner of the property.
Early 1950 s. The two Reggies in front of Wanda’s vegetable garden. In the background, the old Clarkston gymnasium can be seen. Yes, that is a chimney. These old school buildings were heated by large coal burning furnaces.
As the years went by, more plants were added and the vegetable garden became more extensive. Notice the mimosa tree and the early landscaping behind Raymond and his bike. This photo was taken about 1953.
With an ever increasing family, the house was getting more and more cramped. Linda was born in March of 1953; so within eight years, there were 5 children in one bedroom. By 1954, according to Reggie, she shared a double bed with Linda and Terry while Andie and Raymond used a set of bunk beds. In June of 1954, when baby number six (Barbara) was born, the decision had been made to build a larger home with more property a half mile away on Norman Road. 3759 Norman Road We hope you enjoyed a look into the photos and stories of Wanda and Adrian’s first home!