Left to right, front row: Kermit Styer holding son James, Edna Benner Styer, Irene Benner, Ruth Wismer, Elizabeth Souder, Doris Souder, Lois Ruth, Ruth Kolb (later Essick), Becky Yoder (later Weaver), Dorothy Benner (sister to Edna and Irene). Back row: Charles Yoder, Arlene Kolb (later Yoder), David Hostetler, Anna Pearl Longacre (later Hostetler), Ruth Hendricks, Gerald Souder, John Ruth, Enos Weaver, Ernest Hange.
11 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday”
Oh my goodness, that’s my Dad in the back row. I would’ve never seen this except you put his name down.
Actually, I received this picture from your dad along with another one that has my uncle Paul in it. So thanks to him, I have the pictures and the names…but no one seems sure why this particular group was gathered…:-)
Yes, that is an interesting mix of people – in front of Uncle Paul and Aunt Margaret’s house – but they aren’t on the picture. Sure wonder what the occasion was.
And there is baby Jimmy!! I will check with him if he knows what this is about!
Bev, If Jim was about 1, the picture would have been taken in about 1948.
I was wondering, too, what was the reason for this particular gathering. I think it looks like Uncle Paul/Aunt Margaret’s home in Spring City…especially because of the covered drive thru on the right. The names of Souder, Wismer, Ruth, and my parents make me think of a Finland group…and didn’t Paul and Margaret go to Finland at one point. Maybe Aunt Irene will remember….she’ll be out here in two weeks!!!
Oh, and I think it would have been early 1948…..Jim was born in May, 1947, and I was born in May, 1948, so my mom must have been pregnant with me on this picture!
This is the commentary that John Ruth sent me:
The photo is by Forrest Essick, a young man from Pottstown who joined the congregation and married Ruth Kolb of the Vincent congregation at Spring City. For your interest, I’ll attach another photo by Forrest from my forthcoming “Branch: A Memoir with Pictures.” The text accompanying it is as follows:
I include this portrait because it represents the oldest color slide in my “memoir with pictures.” It was only found after I had completed the rest of the book. Its slightly bluish cast (early Kodachrome) recalls the first tingling sensation of getting back colored photographs from the laboratories to which we had hopefully mailed our exposures, wondering if they would “get.” Taken in 1947 by young Forrest Essick of Pottstown, whose girlfriend Ruth Kolb is third from right in the front row, the slide records an unusual occasion none of its survivors can explain six decades later. It is clear that we are at the home of Paul and Margaret Longacre Benner near Spring City, just west of the Schuylkill River, and we are in Sunday dress. Three commonalities are evident: (1) membership in the nearby Vincent Congregation, (2) or in the Finland congregation of my upbringing east of the Schuylkill, and (3) relatives of the Benner family. Clearly also, we had been selected by the Benner family (which had roots or membership at Vincent and Vincent’s mission offshoot in Pottstown, and Finland, where Paul had served as deacon), with purposes of their own for the unusual mix of this social gathering. The costume evident here valuably registers a historical, post-World-War-II moment when plain dress was an especially sensitive sign of serious Old Mennonite spirituality. Though my Finland contemporaries Gerald Souder and Ernest Hange standing with me in the back row never conceded, I see that I am still neither fully plain nor fancy. My sister Lois, likewise then a student at the Lancaster Mennonite School, has taken on the full requirement of head covering (with strings!) and cape dress, along with her three colleagues in the pastel-clad “Finland Girls’ Quartet.”
Fascinating, isn’t it?…but it still doesn’t explain why the Benners were there. I’m thinking it was a Sunday afternoon and Margaret decided to have all these people for Sunday dinner…??? Is that possible, Dick? –BBM
I inquired of Doris Souder Morgan and Elizabeth Souder Hoover, my sisters-in-law. This was the reply I received from Doris.
On Saturday, October 12, 2013 5:38 PM, Doris Morgan
Judy, Someone had sent this picture to me before. I think it was Lois Kennel. The picture was taken at Paul and Margaret Benner’s home near Spring City. We were all invited to their place for dinner on a Sunday. I’m not sure why, maybe Anna Pearl Longacre had something to do with it. I guess they just wanted to have a group of young people get together. Anna Pearl was Margaret Benner’s sister. Maybe Liz or Gerald remember more.
Thanks, Judy… Somehow it just reminded me of that. That explains a lot!
I have distant memories of this day being planned by my mother. She loved having people in for a meal, and decided that these young people from Finland and Spring City including Vincent Church and Pottstown, and relatives from both sides (Longacre and Benner) would enjoy learning to know each other. Simple as that!
Wow, it helps me know and understand your mother better. She was quite the gracious hostess…:-)