From left to right: Mary Saum Jenks, Courtney Saum, Nan Saum Haddad, Virginia Saum Edmonds.
Thanks to Becky Edmonds for find the photo and for her friend for image-capturing the original photograph. I desaturated, cropped, cleaned and fiddled with the file I recieved from my cousin.
This was taken at the Saum Farm outside of Alexandria, Virginia. From what my mother told me, this was not a happy time. Earl Saum, her father, was a violent alcoholic who would beat poor Courtney to an inch of his life in front of the entire family. Often. Very Often. The Saum kids were not happy or maybe just Mom wasn't, but I'm guessing everyone was scared.
My mother would occasionally exaggerate. Her unhappy childhood I don't believe was something she was hyperbolic about. Notice how all the children are standing at attention, how only one is smiling, how none are holdling hands. They were frightened of the photographer, their dad. A striking photograph of my family.
Mary Jenks died a year ago on July 7th, 2011. Rest in peace, Mom. Your ashes rest beside your husband's and behind your daughter's. And your son's ashes will be there someday.