Thursday, April 02, 2009

Theme Thursday --- Plus Ten

Welcome to Theme Thursday. This weeks theme was a tuffy for me. The number 10. I searched everywhere for something memorable that could be called a ten, with no luck. Then last night the answer just fell into my lap.

I want to remind everyone that I am the oldest of thirteen children. I grew up in a rural area and making ends meet was always a struggle for my folks. As a result, they didn't take many photos. Each of us have few if any and the ones we do have mostly came to us from friends and relatives. So whenever a new photo surfaces it is a big deal and gets copied to share with everyone.

I recently acquired some old slides from an elderly Aunt and the Old Salt has been scanning them into the computer for me. In the most recent batch I found the perfect ten. These slides are very old and in poor condition so I tried to save as many as possible by using photoshop to lighten and repair best as I could. This photo is still very dark and has some strong shadows but it shows me with the first ten of my siblings. Of course I am the oldest one in the photo holding the two youngest. This must have been taken in the summer of 1963. I would have been seventeen and my newest baby brother is almost one.

Growing up I went through many phases. I had one totally embarrassing phase where every time I was out somewhere with the youngest kids, someone would mistake them for mine. At seventeen, did I really look old enough to have six kids? Once, at the grocery store, I had the task of babysitting the little ones while my mother shopped. I lined them all up on the brick ledge in front of the store with some candy. Folks entering the store would stop and say how cute they all were, or just shake their heads in amazement. I lost count of how many asked me if they were all mine, so finally I reached my saturation point. The next lady who asked that question was told “yes they are all mine and I have six more at home'. I though she was going to swallow her teeth in shock.

The above story is taken from a post in my archives called "Oldest of Thirteen" that talks about what it was like being the eldest in a large family. Given the many changes over the last fifty years in people's attitudes about children, parenting and large families; plus all the recent news about the Octomom, my story may not be seen with the same humor it had back in 1963 in an area where less than six children was considered unusual. The original post and a photo of all of us as adults can be found at this link.

To see more of the vegetable post or to join the fun visit Theme Thursday


  1. Very cool! That is one BIG family!

  2. You look happy holding your newest siblings. As the oldest of only three, this was somtimes hard to be. Lovely photo of the baker's dozen.

  3. Excellent story of a snappy comeback to a stupid question. I really love the photo.

  4. Wonderful story! I am the oldest of four, we are all sisters. Not the same but it was fun having three other siblings. I like your comeback to that women, I can see her bristling.

  5. Only three sibs, but many cousins and neighbors that I had to sit for, being the oldest in the hood. I think the most I ever had to look after at once was seven, and of course, most of them went home at the end of the day!

    I'm glad the photos are still repairable to an extent and that technology is available to you to save them.

  6. I love it! Great photo.
    My mother is the eldest of 12 and I'm the eldest of four. Family gatherings are always great when you have tons of uncles, aunts, 30 plus cousins and grandparents. And we're still growing in numbers.

  7. wow. big family. from a fam of 3 kids myself...nice pic.

  8. How wonderful to be able to scan in those old photos. It must have tough being the eldest :)

  9. Rita, only one other brother and a step-sister. Enjoyed the post and share. And the link pic of you all together---priceless!


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