While I recently posted a photo of me and my Dad for Father’s Day, there is a better one. You may have seen it before on my FB page. It was taken by a professional photographer from NY back in the Fifties. As I recall, it was published nationally, and may also have won some awards.
The photo is my paternal Grandmother, Yuki Kataoka, and my youngest sister Carolyn.
It was taken on the ranch next door to ours, then leased by my Uncle Sus, and eventually purchased by him when the owners finally sold. The ranch had an old house, which is still standing, a tank (water) house, a storage shed, and a chicken coop.
The photographer was visiting his widowed sister (Mrs. Lawson) when his keen photographic eye caught my Grandmother carting my sister, Japanese style,
around the various ranches. It was during this difficult period, when our Mother was hospitalized up in the Sierra foothills with tuberculosis (which I firmly believe she contracted while incarcerated in the Arizona desert (Gila) after Pearl Harbor). My Grandmother came to live with us, from across the street, to take care of us. I was the oldest of four, at age 7 or 8.
It was a challenging time for my parents and grandparents. But I never heard them complain. This photo is a permanent memory of that period in our lives. We missed our Mom dearly, perhaps nobody more so than my baby sister.
Today, July 10, is her birthday. It was also my Uncle Sus (my Dad’s brother) birthday as well. The original photo is in my sister’s home in San Francisco, in the original frame. It is priceless, as is our sister.