Here is a photo of Helen, my Dad’s mother, holding her first son, Jimmy. Jimmy died at about age 3 of Diphtheria around 1916 when Helen and Jimmy went to stay with Grandfather in Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, before he shipped out to France for WWI to run an ambulance corps. The camp was on lockdown/quarantine to prevent illness aboard the ships overseas, so when Jimmy got sick, grandfather — a doctor — could not come out of the camp to save him. I imagine grandmother — a nurse — desperately trying to bring down his fever, all alone. What grief! losing her baby and watching her husband go overseas to the most brutal war the world had ever known — years of trench warfare and battlefield surgery. Helen returned to Stroudsburg, PA to stay with her mother for the duration of the war, while Jay — grandfather — was overseas. I wonder if Jimmy is buried in Stroudsburg? Perhaps one of our Gearhart cousins knows?

I found these dresses in the costume trunk. Are they the same dress and skirt grandmother is wearing? It’s hard to tell.img_3966-1img_3973 img_3964-1 What always strikes me about the picture, though, is how intelligent Jimmy looks, and how much Helen adores him.  He’s looking right at the camera!