Summer Rendezvous, July 1942

This is the first in a new blog category for me: Photographic Memory.
Each will feature a photo from my life
and the memories it provokes.


Marjorie Mae Thompson & Andrew Sheldon Gibson July 1942

Marjorie Mae Thompson
& Andrew Sheldon Gibson
July 1942

It’s a warm and sunny weekend afternoon. Dad and I have come into Calgary from the farm. I’ve been working there for him, since the university year ended. Sheldon has the weekend off from the Imperial Oil seismic crew where he is working. It is such fun to be together again. At university in Edmonton we’ve been “going steady”—a state somewhere between dating and being formally engaged to be married—but with both of us working out of town, it’s rare to have a summer day together.

I want Sheldon to see the farm, the school I attended, the area where I grew up. Mom wants to restock the food in the farm house, so out we come from Calgary. While she is doing that, Dad drives us over to see the South Valley School.

In the small town of Claresholm, where his Dad was the bank manager, Sheldon went to what seems to me like a big school—four rooms for eight grades. I spent my first eight years of school in this one-room school. But “big” school or small, we both have happy memories of those early years.

As Dad takes a picture of us, leaning up against the school, I’m glad I’m wearing my favourite summer skirt today. The colours are so nice, blue and pink stripes, and I love the way it flares. Sheldon likes it when I wear pretty things.

As we stand there, squinting into the sun, I can hear a meadowlark singing, and feel the prairie breeze blowing by. I’m warmed by the summer sun and by my love for Sheldon. It’s a day to remember.




Filed under Photographic memory

19 Responses to Summer Rendezvous, July 1942

  1. Jean Abbott

    Marjorie, what a lovely memory! I well recall having skirts like that ….. and just look at the shoes!

    I enjoy your blog very much.

  2. Ralph Gibson

    I certainly know the photograph but never knew (or didn’tabsorb) the back story. Wonderfully done, Mom. Thanks much for this.

    • Marjorie

      Good morning, Ralph. By the time I got back from breakfast the responses to this last blog were coming in. There is a tendency to think that because I remember when, where, and why a picture was taken, everyone else does too! Thank Isabel for pushing me in to this endeavour. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. I will look at our family photo albums with heightened imagination because you have brought to this charming photo the details of thoughts and feelings and the surroundings it cannot convey. So many happy moments, shining through troubled times, still cast a hopeful light on a no less turbulent world. Thank you for your photographic memory.

    • Marjorie

      Laurna – We all have these old photos, and old memories. I spend a fair amount of time looking through my collection. It was my daughter, Isabel, who suggested that I try writing some of my memories down – and so I did. I thank her for her inspiration, it was fun.

  4. Eveline Goodall

    What a tender and beautiful memory Marjorie! Have you told us the story of when and where you and Sheldon met?

    I love the skirt.I think you had to be wearing a crinoline! I remember full skirts like that and crinolines. And just look at the size of your waist. Oh my!

    I love the new category for blog entries and look forward to receiving them.

    • Marjorie

      Can’t remember what the material in the skirt was, Eveline, but I do know – no crinoline! I sighed a bit when I looked at my waist size – what a difference the years make. As to when and where we met, that’s another story. Isabel is feeding me the pictures one by one. Perhaps she has one for that.

  5. Jim Robertson

    Having just worked my way through my parents’ photo albums, I wish they were still around to be able to talk about some of the stories behind their pictures….

    Not only are your shoes and skirt notable, but so is Sheldon’s tie.

    • Marjorie

      I know the feeling Jim, having done the same thing. My mother had been a teacher. This I knew, but never thought to ask where she was trained. Later I spent years trying to learn where she took her teacher-training. They did it differently in the early years of the 1900s.

  6. Marnie Lewis

    I’m always so glad to get an email from your website, letting me know there is a new blog update you’ve written. It always brightens my day a bit! Thanks Marjorie, hope you’re well!

    • Marjorie

      Marnie – It is nice to hear that you enjoy my blog. The feed-back from readers encourages me to continue. To answer your question – I am well, but slow. Goes with the age.

  7. There was a “look” to the forties and you two carry it off perfectly! The baggie trousers, the “saddle shoes” (correct!) great for Swing dancing (if you did that sort of thing). The practically shaved side hair with all the thick, floppy hair just on top for Sheldon, your hairstyle (when girls wanted to look like their mothers … hair off the face, dear…).
    Good times. And you knew it!
    Can’t wait for the next photo for you to illustrate with your lovely memories.

    • Marjorie

      Barbara – My, do the memories come back when I see these photos! I have spent the evening looking up dance music from the 40’s. When I read the lyrics, I can hear the music! Sentimental and lively, and lyrics to match. Tell me, will today’s popular music live for 75 years as these have? I wonder ..

      • I don’t think so, but then I find the current popular music very same-y with vocals “shredded” and metallic. The lyrics are not sentimental and mostly about raging hormones and “hook-ups”. Nothing subtle in the least which is very boring. It all sounds like manufactured, pre-cooked, fast-food with very sexually-explicit dancers humping away in the videos, each trying to out-shock the next group. There are surely other groups more musical I’m not aware of, but…I’m not prepared to find them out.
        My father had his own swing band in the 1940s so I am a Big Band Girl through and through; my background music was my father pounding out arrangements on the piano, or practicing his clarinet or saxophone.
        Good times.
        My sister recently made a CD of the little band he put together when he was in his 80s. They were in such demand for Retirement Homes they were booked for New Year’s Eve a year in advance. 😀

        • Marjorie

          Barbara – I just now read your second response to “Summer Rendezvous”. We agree on our reaction to today’s popular music – not that the younger generation care! I was amused and delighted about your father and his retirement home band, which was booked a year ahead for New Year’s! That was testing fate, wasn’t it – we who don’t even buy green bananas. A great memory.