This postcard was sent to Miss Fannie Martin (my Grandma Longenecker) from Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. The postmark, dated October 15, 1909, is intact but the stamp has been cut out, deleting some of the text that would illuminate the meaning of the scene.
Your mission, should you choose to accept: Write a caption for the scene. If you feel bold, create a story!
Here it is in magnified view, some of the script made visible:
An invitation: Write a caption for the scene. If you feel bold, create a story!
- What is the woman actually sewing?
- What relationship do you think the boy has with the woman?
- What do you see in the scene that you think others may miss?
Good morning, Marian! I love all of these old postcards you have.
This one is bizarre. 🙂
If I have time, I’ll see if I can come up with a story. If not, maybe I’ll come back to it at some other time.
Take your time, Merril. I never close comments on my posts. You of all people could certainly spin a yarn about a card I agree is bizarre. Thanks for beginning the chat here – and for the Twitter share.
What a great postcard!
“Shouldn’t I take off my trousers, Ma? This tickles.”
Super! You’ve clarified the relationship and explained the boy’s smile in just 9 words. Thanks, Jill.
I’d say this little guy got up to some mischief. He hooked his pants and split the seam. He’s reliving the adventure while Mother diligently repairs the damage. No doubt this isn’t the first time his shenanigans have caused damage, and without much hope that the seam will last, she’s not wasting more time by having take the pants off first. Snips ‘n Snails, and Puppy Dog tails! 🙂
You have (or have had) a little guy like this too. Maybe that’s why you pinned down such a plausible scenario, Jenn.
Readers, Jenn is a great storyteller. Click here to see why: https://jennsmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/b-is-for/
When little Johnny complained his pants were loose, his mother decided to sew them to his shirt so they didn’t fall down.
Sorry Marian, not the most logical explanation.
xxx Massive Hugs xxx
The photo is not logical, so the explanation need not be either. Valiant effort here. Thank you, Sir David! ((( )))
Ma’s got me in stitches – she’s sewing the wrong part –
sweet postcard Marian!
Concise caption, among the best, Susan. I’m glad you got a kick out of this too.
“Hurry up, mom. I want to go play some more.”
This is such a funny post card. I imagine he ripped his trousers, possibly while on a holiday, and his mom is quickly stitching them up. I love it!
My take: Part of the humor lies in the drawing itself. Victorian artists seem to struggle with children’s faces and figures, which makes the card oddly funny, and as one reader suggested – comical but weird.
Your caption fits better than the trousers. Thanks, Darlene.
My first thought was he looks like a “dummy” puppet ventriloquists use. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
That’s exactly what Cliff thought. Based on the fact his lower body looks too flat for a “real” boy, that theory makes sense. Yes, you should stick to your story, Melodie.
I’ve seen another antique postcard on this same theme labeled “Repaired while you wait.” PS: I love her dress and lovely hairdo.
Okay, so maybe we’re looking at a postcard version of the sign in an alternations shop.
About your observation of the woman: Imagine the time it would take to fix that hairdo every day + the elaborate work on that dress.
How to rear up kids with one easy stitch.
Perfect, Fatima! You make every word count.
Very funny postcard! I love all of the guesses but still wonder what the real caption was if there was one!
About the caption – As I scrutinized the print partially obliterated by the cut-off stamp, I can de-cipher “ABOUT . . . -SE UP THE REAR!”
Maybe someone reading this can expand on that. Thanks, Joan.
Marian — The young boy, Billy, has thrown himself with glee and gratitude on his mama’s lap. You see, Mrs. O’Brien (mama) is sewing Billy a magic cape that will help him to fly, or be invisible, or whatever his imagination desires.
Every responder so far has put his/her personal stamp on the caption. I should have known that yours would include a flight of imagination. Thanks, Laurie.
She looks like a school teacher, not like a mom! She’s too busy to do it the proper way, and he hasn’t got an extra pair of pants at school, so she just takes him over her knee, and being practically minded, she’s mending instead of spanking. He’s happy and relieved that he’s not getting spanked, thus the big smile on his face!
She does look like a teacher, so perhaps not his mom. And she does have the range of motion for spanking – ha! Thanks for contributing another plausible tag to the scenario, Elfrieda.
They were attached to each other!
Love both, Fiona. You are the mistress of pithy language, which I enjoy as you combine poetry with photos each week.
I think that it is Johnny’s older sister getting him out of a scrape or at least appearing to do so. He caught his pants on a nail and she is “repairing” it. Little does he know that she is sewing his handkerchief to his pocket in addition to repairing the rip. He will get quite a surprise when he decides to pull out his handkerchief…a prank for a prank…big sister style!
Hello from Lancaster Co!
Hello to you too. If I recall, one of your relatives may have been my mother’s Sunday School teacher at Erb’s Mennonite Church. I so remember your commenting earlier.
What an invention, Ann! The boy does look like a prankster and what she is doing serves him right. Now I wonder if you exchanged pranks with a younger brother or sister – hmmmm!
Thanks for visiting here and sharing in the tomfoolery!
Yes, I do remember some pranks…I had a younger brother, Greg who is as “nix-nooksy” today as he every was!! We entertain our nieces, nephews and Amish neighbors with some fun stories. Hopefully, also the grandchildren to come! Always enjoy your Blog! Thanks so much for sharing!
And thanks for showing up here with comments today. I had not seen the words “nix-nooksy” written out before but that expression describes some of my cousins. I’m guessing Greg has turned out fine because a sense of humor often saves the day!
Lol, cute challenge. Caption: “But mom!” I think the little boy was messing around in his church clothes and mother noticed he ripped his pants just as they were leaving. His other church pants were in the dirty laundry, so quickly, with no time to waste, she grabbed the needle to mend. 🙂
Another winner! I should have made this into a contest, but how would I pick a winner! Thanks for your smart addition here, Debby.
Thanks Marian. And I just came back here to see if you’ve seen my comment. I’m having troubles on this site and left you a message about it on Facebook. 🙂 I get no notifications if you reply to me, not on reader, and not even by email. 🙁
Yes, I saw your clever comment and replied to it: “Another winner! I should have made this into a contest, but how would I pick a winner! Thanks for your smart addition here, Debby.”
Since you posted this, we had a long chat via “Messenger,” which prompts me to enable readers like you to check a box so that you can receive notifications of my reply to your comment and others. I’ll be working on that. Thanks! 🙂
Oh my, you already got such great responses, I’m afraid to try. But here goes: “The goat only got one bite of my trousers, Ma. Why’s it taking you so long?”
No one can touch this clever caption – nice try!
A delightful card. On first glance, a little guy is getting spanked, but then a look at his delighted face says he’s having a wonderful time. I think she is, too. His mama or maybe an older big sister pretending she’s mad about the pants to make him laugh while she sew with exaggerated comical gestures. Later they’ll have a story to tell and the reason for leaving the pants on will be the punch line.
Oh, you say it’s a ruse – a scene staged to keep the reader guessing. Now that’s a different slant on the scenario. How clever to imagine a 2-part story. Thanks, Elaine!
It’s been a busy week here in West Wales I don’t think I’d find much time to sew like this lovely mum is doing . I think her son is enjoying every moment of his mum’s attention…I can almost remember those hiccoughing moments of joy, can’t you?
Thanks for your email. I will soon send you a photo of my mayhem 😂🌷🌷
Thanks for checking in here in spite of the merry mayhem of remodeling going on at your house. Yes, I do look forward to your photos. In the meantime, I can catch you on Facebook. Take care, my dear! 🙂
Fun, Marian! So, here’s my story:
Boy was outside helping his mother in the garden. She noticed he kept tugging at his ear and said, “Sister is inside sewing. Go to her so your ear can get seen.”
What he heard: “Go to her so your rear can get seamed.”
Capital fun! I should have thought of a similar story: There is a big boy living in our house who is hard of hearing too, but I get the impression your boy was just a careless listener. Hahaha!