After going back to take a closer look at the tintypes, I realized that the lady and gentleman in both of these photos are the same, only taken years apart.
The above photo must have been around 1886. Norman T. Short was born in 1886 and he only looks a couple of months old at the most. If you look up close to his little face the resemblance can be seen in his photo below standing by his mother.
The tintype below is of William Short, Carrie M. Short, Norma Ella Allen-Short, and Norman T. Short. My Aunt Carrie looks maybe 2 years-ish? She was born in 1889 so I am going to put an 1891-ish date on this photo.
I never knew Norman, but I did know my Aunt Carrie as did my cousin Sue (Susie as I call her). She has been helpful in the memory department by adding in her bits of recall also. It has been great to have someone my age who actually did know our Great Aunt and Great Grandmother to exchange thoughts of past dinners and get-togethers.
Now, speaking of my cousin Susie, she has sent me a copy of these extraordinary notes of love in reference to Norma.
This first one is from Norma’s mother dated February 20, 1881.
"Dear Norma, O'er your brow May never a rude wind roughly blow, May your days glide by to eternity With the sweetest sweets that life can know. May the crown of a glorious womanhood All radient, rest on your stainless brow; May the Father hold you as tenderly In his mighty hand as he holds you now. Mother San Francisco Feb 20th 1881"
The second one is a sweetheart note of love from William to Norma. I can only dream it was given to her after they either sealed their engagement or the wedding. This delicately written romantic note is a gem for me to read after all these years. Here, in his own handwriting, Great-Grandfather Short writes of love and their upcoming lives together, and that tells me that they were in love and it wasn’t a forced marriage of the day. That makes me smile and now I understand her turned-up lips-she was really smiling too.
"To Norma Our lives are albums written through With good or ill with false or true And as the blessed angel turns The pages of our lives God grant they read the good with smiles And blot the bad with tears William Short"
I will be back with more. Hopefully, you are enjoying just a look-see into the past. Til next time,