I've talked about my grandmother's old suitcase. The one which held countless pictures and documents. The one which opened up the world to me as far as extended family members. In this same suitcase, there are still some unidentified photos. Two of these, yet to be identified pictures, haunt me with "Who were you?" "What did you do with your life?" and many more such questions.
Orvina E. Kebom looks directly at the camera. Her eyes twinkle with the promise of secrets yet to be told. Is she taking this picture for some young gentleman she plans to marry? Is she just posing for her parents- somehow I think not.
I did find a woman who thought this might have been a picture of my great-uncle's girlfriend. He met her while serving in WWI...does the fashion indicate this timeline would be correct? If this is the girl- then she died of TB and he was forever crushed by her death.
The memory of the woman who told me this tale is questionable. Her stories melded from one story into another. She picked up the next picture and said, "Oh there she is ..."
This ethereal young woman was then decided to be the one who died of TB. The only name on the portrait is "Jacks Tacoma"- which I can only assume is the name of the studio where this was taken in Tacoma, Washington.
I've googled..I've searched...but Orvina E. Kebom and Mezzo Studios, Tacoma yielded nothing. I searched for Jacks Tacoma with no results. I've even tried Jacksa or Jacksh...nothing.
So I look at the two photographs and wonder what ever became of these young women. One who looks so full of life; the other who looks like she is a wispy, spirit who has been accidentally captured by a camera. A spray of fern close to her bodice and a ring caught up in her hair, she waits for her sweet heart to join her.
I wish I could have known Orvina. Somehow I think she would have been a fun person to get to know. We might have enjoyed some great adventures together. As for "Miss Wispy" she seems so fragile. I would still have liked to know her story though. I love hearing people's stories..some sadness mixed with happiness, woven together to make up their life.
There will be no story today. Although I put these photos away, I will not stop asking about them. Hopefully one day I will find someone who knows Orvina E. Kebom's story or "Miss Wispy"'s story. Until then I carefully put the pictures away for safe keeping.