Belated birthday tribute to a cousin long gone

by Alden Cole on August 5, 2015 · 0 comments

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard (1923-2014)

70.2FamilyPicnicWPOn Tuesday, my cousin Gordon’s wife Isolde Hedwig Kümmerle [Cole] born Ellhofen, Germany on 3 November 1939, emailed me with a reminder that her sister-in-law, and my first-cousin, Elizabeth May Cole [Curran] (4 August 1936 –
70.3BackYardPicnicWP1 June 1983) – aka Lib or Libby, who was like an older sister to me in the family compound – would have celebrated her 79th birthday Tuesday if she had survived her battle with breast cancer. Isolde shared the following tribute: “This is Lib’s 79 Birthday today. What a wonderful Lady she was, she help me so much at the very beginning. I remember so well, right after [Gordon and I] were married she came with these little cards and said “just sign them with your name” and then told me they where Thank You cards for all the presents, she did the rest. All these new things I had to learn. Lib And Joan did soooo much for me. I struggled with so much…” Above, two snapshots from 1947 taken by Lib’s mother Dorothy May Tenney [Cole] when Libby was a young girl of eleven enjoying family picnics with her older brothers Bob Jr. and Gordon, and her younger sister Margie, plus her father Robert Sr.
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

73.2WagonKids1947EditWPAt left, photos by Dorothy Cole of family fun with visiting cousins. Left to right: Bob Cole Jr., Marge Cole [Thompson], Wally Cole, Mark Proctor, Clark Cole, John Gay with Joanne Proctor (LaGanke) hidden behind him, and Libby Cole
73.3WP[Curran]. In the second photo, Joanne Proctor (LaGanke), Marge Cole [Thompson], Bob Cole Jr standing back by the horse-drawn piece of haying equipment driven by Margie Proctor, John Gay, Clark Cole, Libby Cole (Curran], Mark Proctor, & Wally Cole. “Parents aren’t the ones who make adults out of children; it’s the children who make adults out of parents.” – unknown

57.BobGordonLibMarge4viewsGSCWPAt left and below, a series of portrait photo proofs taken in October 1946 for Christmas giving that year, of my dad’s older brother’s family: Robert Weymouth Cole (1903-1992) and Dorothy May Tenney [Cole] (1910-1990) and their four children Robert Weymouth Cole Jr. (1931- ), Gordon Tenney Cole (1934- ), Elizabeth May Cole [Curran] (1936-1983), and Marjorie Ann Cole [Thompson] (1940- ). More evidence revealing the power of the direct glance, and eye-to-eye contact in portraiture. Last, but not least, a snapshot of sisters Lib and Marge posed in front of a flowering shrub holding baskets of freshly picked fruit. Oh Summertime!



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