Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Following the Lily of the Valley

Photo of backyard by Dorothy Broadfoot, Spring 1966

Sentimental Sunday: Following the Lily of the Valley

As a follow-up to my Sentimental Sunday post of last week (thanks to everyone who commented), I went looking for a photo that would show the plants in my parent's back yard. My dad called this area "the deep, dark woods". I didn't understand that this was supposed to be funny until I grew up. 

This very blurry photo with a developing date of May 1966 tells me that my mother was already losing her ability to take good photographs. (I am a college student as of this date.) 

The focus of this photo is supposed to be the flower garden around the bird bath. In the very back of the photo you can just see the outline of the fence that sets the property off from the land owned by the State of Rhode Island.

In earlier photos, the fence isn't there. It was erected because the "escapees" from the mental hospital section of the correctional facility at Howard (as it was called then) wandered away from the section that they were supposed to be farming. They were looking for food, cigarettes and liquor. The housewives, who were home in the daytime, called the police to come take the wanderers back to the buildings where they lived. 

Mental health is still a problem in families. My family had its share, did yours? 

Lily of the Valley for remembrance of my father, whose birth date of 21 July 1917 is memorialized tomorrow. He was only 17 when he came home from high school and found his father dead in the kitchen. 

Westerly, RI Vital Record book, 1937

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Wonderful about the Lily of the Valley and the deep significance for you and the memorial. Interesting about the boundary to the State facilities and all issues that had entailed. .