Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Weber Scrapbook -- The Singleton Street Neighborhood Kids

     Neighborhood friends are really never forgotten.  Wouldn't you agree? We go on in our lives and may lose track of them.  But they are braided in some way into who we are. Some of those old friends are cherished, some maybe Weber Neighborhood Kidsnot so much. Regardless, these relationships have their effects. If any one of the people in this photo were to take a look right now, maybe give it a minute or two for the older brain to kick in, they could probably name off at least six of the seven youngsters.  The gang was definitely enjoying their time together here, taking a break from their activities to pose in front of the Weber home at 2160 Singleton Street, Indianapolis. 
     It was the summer of 1940.  Dolly Weber, on right, was nearing 14 and Harry Weber, young man on the front of the bicycle, would be 13 in November.  Maybe Peg Weber was taking the photo because she saved it, wrote the names on the back and loaned it to me for scanning.  Peg was 16, a young lady who was probably beginning to edge her way out of the neighborhood gang, toward things like dances and dating.  Another possibility for the snapshot is that it may be  another of those historicBack of Weber Neighborhood Kidsal moments captured by Bob Weber, the big brother who seemed to always have his camera handy. 
     The story of friendships is reflected in each one of these faces: Larry Adams, Harry Weber,  Buddy Joyce, Lillian Lieland, Jean Sauter, Dolly Weber and Elbert Lee Solomon (kneeling in front).  A quick survey of the 1940 census for this neighborhood finds at least three of the families recorded on Singleton Street and its intersecting streets, LeGrande Avenue and Raymond Street.  Just a short bike ride of a block or two brought these young people together.
     There are other details of the Weber family in the miscellaneous remnants attached.  In this case the story is also about what's on the back.  Besides the names that Peg preserved by writing on the back, there are pieces of the traditional black scrapbook page hanging on where the photo was glued at one time.  Wonder what the reason was that this gem was removed from its original saving spot.  Okay, so let's be glad for that since the old scrapbook may not have been acid free.  And now the original photo may last longer.  But aren't we all grateful that young people in the 1930s and 40s saved mementos in scrapbooks so that we have them today. 
     And then there's the last curious detail…..the two places where the signature H. L. Weber appears.  They look random, as if someone was practicing their father's signature. This signature is similar to his yet definitely different.  Could there be a reason to practice writing your father's signature?!  Who knows!
     This neighborhood capsule tickles me.  I'm sure I've only scratched the surface of the stories behind this scene. Imagine what tales could cascade if one of these pictured 80 or 90-something people were to catch a glimpse and begin reminiscing.  Have you heard another angle on this Singleton Street Neighborhood Gang that you'd like to share?  Let's add it to the Weber Scrapbook.
     I'll keep digging into the scrapbook photos that I have scanned so that we can preserve and share them here at Indiana Ties. 
Thanks for visiting,

   P. S. There's another photo of the Singleton Street home in a much different surrounding at :
      Copyright © 2015 Nancy Niehaus Hurley

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