March 22, 2012

.family photos…part 1: the Larkin’s.

In the midst of cleaning things in the basement, my Mom recovered a box of photos that were my Grandma Jean’s. We spent an evening after dinner going through them the other night. Most of these I had seen before, but decided I wanted to put them on my blog for documentation purposes! This may start a series…beware. :)
Here is the part of my family tree that these pictures are from…
(I have to say here….my Mom has always been interested in history and genealogy…and as much as I tease her for it, I do appreciate her passing that on to me. I know the family names of my ancestors and pieces of information about each of them. That is something special.)
koch family tree

I'm starting with my Dad's side of the family. This is about his mother's family.
This is Reuben Larkin, my great-grandfather, holding my Grandma Jean, circa 1921. My Grandma Jean was the oldest of 4 children. She had 3 brothers: Reuben, Harold, and Russell. They were from Minnesota.
At the bottom of this picture it says “Affectionately Mary Jeanne and Daddy”. I’m not sure about the spelling of her name. She always spelled it “Jean.” She always told us that she wasn't expected to live as an infant, so she was baptized "Mary Jean" in the Catholic tradition. She hated "Mary" and always went by "Jean."
This is her mother, Mae Barrett Larkin. We don’t know much about her or her family. She died in 1947 and my Grandma didn’t talk much about her.
We found this amongst the photos. It’s hand painted silk, signed by Mae Barrett in 1910. She would’ve been 15 when she painted this. I was excited to find it – I love seeing that my craftiness is inherited!
I want to mat and frame this so that it’s preserved properly.
I just love this picture. This is Russell’s family – my Grandma Jean’s brother.
He was married to Shirley Francois Larkin. She started the Larkin Dance Studio in the basement of their home in 1950. It grew into a very successful dance studio, now in Maplewood, Minnesota. We loved watching Star Search as kids and seeing dancers from the Larkin Dance Studio. Shirley passed away last summer, but her daughters still run the dance studio. We love to visit the studio when we go to Minnesota! My favorite memory of Shirley is one time when we stopped by the studio unannounced. She was smoking and talking on the phone in her office. She looked up and saw my Dad and said, nonchalantly, “oh, cousin Bobby is here.” As if it happened every day.
Shirley, Mary Kay, Patty, Michele, Nancy, Kelley, and Molly Larkin
My Grandma was so proud of these nieces and talked about them often. Pictures of them and their families decorated her refrigerator. I felt like I knew them before I even met them!
Next time, you’ll get to meet the Koch family!

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