This is a picture of my Uncle Gene’s son who was born in 1919. His name was Eugene Jr. and he was the only child of Mama’s older brother Gene and his wife, Blanche. They had married very young, I think as teenagers. And the next year they had their baby boy. I assume Blanche loved the baby but apparently she had no idea how to take care of him, so when he got sick, and Uncle Gene was out of town working, she didn’t do anything about it.
The story goes that Blanche had the baby out in a stroller when she saw a friend on the street who stopped to admire him. When the older, wiser friend looked at the baby closely she told Lilly to take him home immediately and call the doctor. Blanche did and the doctor came. But it was too late. Eugene Jr. died the next day of pneumonia. He was nine months old.
Uncle Gene divorced Blanche soon after that. He could not forgive her for their baby’s death. Uncle Gene eventually married again, but he never had any more children. I don’t know what happened to Blanche.
I remember this picture hanging in my grandparent’s home, but after they were gone, it was just stored … no one really wanted it. Uncle Gene had died by that time too, so there really wasn’t anyone else who would feel a connection to the baby in the picture.
But, at some point, my oldest sister saw it stored somewhere and said she wanted it. And she now has it hanging on a wall in her home with other old family pictures.
Eugene, Jr. had a short life, with a sad ending. But, I’m glad my sister has given this picture of him a “home” so that he isn’t totally forgotten.