Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Five Men from Helena, Arkansas

This photograph, as well as a call for assistance to determine my Porter family's relationship to the men in the picture, was first published in a post I wrote for the Attala County Memories blog in September 2008. The photograph, actually a "picture postcard" that I found in my grandmother's photo album, is my submission to Smile for the Camera, 9th Edition, "Who Are You - I Really Want to Know." Someone long ago wrote the names of the men in the picture on the back of the postcard, but what I really want to know is how these men fit into my Porter family tree. The five men in the photograph were identified by the note on the postcard as David Porter, Payton Porter, David Blair, Hall Hart, and John Shearfield. The card has no stamp and no postmark, so it is safe to assume it was never mailed. Written in the space intended for a mailing address is "From Ellie to Vertie, Helena, Ark." Vertie Porter was my paternal grandmother's sister, my great-aunt, and she once taught school in Arkansas. But who was Ellie? And why did Ellie send Vertie Porter a picture of these five men? It goes without saying the two Porter men must have been relatives, but were the other three men relatives, too? And finally, why would my grandmother continue to hold on to this picture long after her sister's death?

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