Flora and her equine friends

Click here to view it larger.

Click on the image below to enlarge the back.

I like how much is going on with this single item. It’s a photo that’s been printed as a postcard, and it’s been mailed. It’s addressed to a Mr. Jim Cusick of Steptoe, Washington (which even today is a town of only 135 people), from somewhere in Tennessee. I can’t quite make out the return address. Is that Bank? Rank? Is that the town? There’s a Red Bank, Tennessee, but I’m not convinced it’s the same place. The message says, “Hellow Jim. how are you to day? I sure would like to see you and we would go driving see. Let me know if you get this. Flora”. I wonder, of course, who Jim is to Flora. A friend or relative? Somebody for whom Flora has romantic feelings? How likely is it that Jim would travel the whole way to Tennessee at the prospect of going driving with Flora? And what does she mean by driving? One clue might be the date. I can read the date of August 18 on the postmark, but I can’t read the year beyond 19-something. The postcard manufacturer’s stamp box says “Metroscope Wisconsin”, and I only found one reference to that company, dating it to pre-1909. I also looked up the stamp, and found it was issued in 1908-09, which tracks. So unless she had the postcard and stamp sitting around for a few years before using them, it seems there’s a good chance this is from 1908 or 1909. Could “driving” mean in an automobile, or does the date suggest this country girl with access to horses is more likely referring to driving in a horse-drawn carriage? Whatever the case, I love the picture itself. She seems to be a happy, confident woman who gets pleasure out of life. Or at least out of her horses. She has what looks like a locket hanging from her neck. Does it contain a photo? Jim, maybe? I’m intrigued by the way she seems to just be using long strips of cloth as bridles/harnesses. And unless I’m mistaken, it looks like she’s got the horses inside the sort of fence that would go around a yard, rather than the sort of fence that would go around a barn, suggesting that these are pets rather than livestock.

4 comments on “Flora and her equine friends”

  1. Flora is showing off her foals. They’re important to her and she’s proud of them. It’s a lovely scene, and your thoughtful comments make the photo even more interesting, as always.

  2. Flora obviously spent much time with her foals and handled them a lot. Otherwise she could not control them with what look like flimsy strips of cloth. An adult halter would be too big for foals and she may not have had foal halters. So those makeshift cloth halters worked fine with gentled foals to keep them in position. Flora did love her equine friends.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: