Mothers Suitors


Mama was a pretty and active young woman. She had a large circle of neighbors, relatives, church, and school pals. They had parties, gatherings, and excursions. It was inevitable that she would have young men courting her as she approached womanhood. She had a camera to record it all.



One of her earliest suitors was my uncle Daniel Steppe. The picture shows what imaginations and ingenuity a young man could use to woo his sweetheart. What could be more impressive of a Sunday morning than to arrive in her yard before breakfast, astride a saddled mule with a hogleg in your belt?


Daniel and brother Lewis decided to join the army. But while they served in the Canal Zone dad had problems with two large strawberries on his ankles and was given a medical discharge. Daniel admonished his homeward bound brother to ‘take care of my girl.’ Brother Lewis must have taken this seriously because he looked in on Shirley when he arrived home, and looked in again, and again. And the next thing you know they are married. Any letters that Daniel wrote his girlfriend have long since vanished for whatever reason. But there are some pictures sent home, some of which have notes on the backs.



There were other serious suitors. Here is the inner page of a fancy birthday card from Theodore. This card came from the community of Gladys for mom’s 1935 birthday.