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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Vintage Twin Style · Mary Ann & Betty Lou

This post is in honor of my dear Aunt Daisy who passed away unexpectedly last week.  She lived to be 86 ½ years old, and was full of life and personality right up until her death.  Her given name was Mary Ann, but all the family always fondly called her "Daisy".

She and my grandma, Betty Lou, were twins, and as you can imagine- there are some very fun old photographs of them!

I'm rather partial to all of my family's photos, but I thought these would be appropriate to share this week, and that they would be especially entertaining since Grandma and Aunt Daisy dressed identically growing up. :-) 

Enjoy these “twin” fashions from the late 1920s through the early 1950s!
(Most of these photographs weren't labeled, so I don't have any definite dates and they're just in a vaguely chronological order.)

1927 · The whole family- Charles, Anna, the twins, and their older brother Bob.

Mary Ann (L) and Betty Lou (R)

They were the best of friends all their lives, and always lived within 10 miles of each other.  Twins were very uncommon when they were growing up, and they were always proud of being twin sisters. :-)

Mary Ann was always the larger of the two.  When we talked with her, she mentioned how scarce meat was while growing up in the Depression.  Betty Lou would always save the "best" for last at meal-time, and then not have enough room to eat her meat, but Aunt Daisy said, "I never let that stop me!  I ate it all!". ;-)

 I never noticed a striking similarity in them, and it’s amusing to see how little they looked alike, even as girls!

Aunt Daisy never married, but she was actively involved in the lives of her niece and nephews and lived with and cared for her parents until their death.

A newspaper clipping from 1948

Up until her death, Grandma and Aunt Daisy would get together most days of the week, and talk on the phone multiple times a day.

1967 · Although this picture doesn't fit in with the theme of this post, it was too fabulous not to share. :-D  Here are my jet-setter grandparents with Aunt Daisy in the background- on one of their many world travels. :-)

While we were compiling and scanning photographs for her funeral, I realized what a wonderful post this would make to share with all of you. :-) I love looking at old, candid photographs- the glimpses into the lives of yesteryear, seeing how real people wore the clothing styles I so admire.  There is a lot to be learned about older fashions from advertisements, movies, and the garments themselves, but there is a different, deeper wealth in seeing photos of real, ordinary people wearing these garments in real, ordinary situations.  

Aunt Daisy and me
The only thing I love more than looking at old photos is looking at old photos of MY ancestors.  To see MY personal history is meaningful.  I had never seen photos of Grandma or Aunt Daisy earlier than the 1960s before this week.  Looking at the photos we found opened up their world and life like I had never grasped before.  I had heard countless stories, seen many of the places they talked about, but seeing these photos made it all “real”.  To see them as babies, watch them grow into girls, then women, and finally the elderly women I’ve known puts my own life into perspective.  

Reading together the day before my second birthday

Aunt Daisy always had a sparkle in her eye.  She was feisty, opinionated, and sometimes outspoken, but always genuinely friendly and interested in others.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and was always a delight to spend time with.  The reality of her loss is only just sinking in, but we will all continue to miss her dearly for years.  The sorrow of her parting is sweetened by the assurance that she is now enjoying eternal joy and rest!

After reflecting back over her life, I've come to the conclusion that I really wouldn't mind becoming like her when I grow up.  She'll always have a fond place in my heart. :-)


  1. I'm so sorry you lost your aunt! She was so beautiful. I love old pictures too! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I am SO sorry to hear of your Aunts passing! Those are some very sweet pictures! Very inspiring. I love old photos like that sadly I have not been able to find very many of my own family.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear that! Losing a loved one is so very hard. Old pictures are the BEST pictures! My great-grandma passed away a few years ago & I still display photos of her from the 1940s in room. I'm quite sure she is the reason I love the 40s so much - it was her heyday.

    You & your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this time of grief and remembrance.

    Love & sympathy,
    Michelle <3

    1. That is so sweet that you display photos of her in your room! I love that idea. :-)

  4. What a blessing to find these old photos of your Great Aunt! They are so darling! So sorry for your loss, but I'm glad that you know that she is in Heaven with our dear Lord and Savior.

    Blessings in Him,

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  5. I'm very sorry to hear about your great-aunt, but this is a truly lovely tribute to her memory. Thank you for sharing it here.

    You're so lucky to have so many early pictures of your family. I love looking at old photos, too, and I spent the past week going through a small box of photos from my grandmother to organize them into a photobook. Sadly, we only have 2 pictures of her under the age of 22, and none at all of my grandfather under about 25. It's so sad to feel like I'm missing out on that part of getting to "know" them. I feel like those are gaps in my history that can never be filled, since there's no one left now who can tell that part of the story. Realizing this has gotten us pretty obsessive about genealogy of late! :-)

    Thanks again for sharing your special memories. :-)

    1. Oh, how very sad to have such a large gap in their history. :-( It makes me that much more thankful that we have so many, especially of the sides of the family with little money.

  6. I loooove old family photos. My maternal grandparents are seriously into genealogy (my grandmother traced her family back to the 18th century I think and is working on my grandfathers), and we have 19th/early 20th century photos of my great great grandparents who came from Switzerland. They are buried in a county near us (I think a lot of this side of my family came straight, except for processing, from Europe to our state now). All the old styles are so funny to see in "real life" not just Hollywood movies and fashion books, especially the complex hairstyles.

  7. My condolences, Lily, to you and your family. Isn't family history great!? I was wondering, do you have any idea if Mary Ann and Betty Lou ever attended the Twins Days festival here in Ohio?

    1. I have no idea if they ever did; I didn't even know such a festival existed before now! :-) I'll have to ask Grandma sometime. :-)

  8. So sorry for your loss. :-( What great photos! I love the one of them on the bikes. And the last one. I know you don't do the 60's but if you ever did, you should recreate your grandma's outfit. It's pretty spiffy! :-)

    1. Weeeelll, let's just say it wouldn't look quite as cute on my body. :-P I'm thinking more along the lines of the second-to-last picture. ;-) (imagine that!)

  9. :( I'm sorry to hear about your loss, Lily!! Praying for you all!

    The photos are so great! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thank you all so much for the condolences and prayers. :-) And I'm glad that you all enjoyed these old photos as much as I have!

  11. Sorry for your loss, Lily
    I think your great aunt must have been about the same age as a couple of my aunts, one of whom passed away a few years ago. I had a bunch of aunts who sewed, knitted, crocheted, and embroidered. And read a lot! That must be where I got the sewing and reading bug from. It's wonderful to have the old photos, isn't it? I have some of their knitting needles, more than I'll ever use; they had teeny tiny needles way back when. Having things they used makes me feel close to them

  12. Thank you for sharing this amazing collection of photo's!! You are surly blessed to have such a beautifully preserved history of your GM and Aunt. It is priceless indeed!

    I'm sorry for the loss of your Aunt Daisy and pray you will find peace and comfort in the memories and photo's you have.

    Thank you again for sharing such a personal post.....I LOVE following your blog posts.

    Jeanna Hanna



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