This isn’t an entry that I spent a lot of time on. I just grabbed a few images. It’s just that it is SO cold, I thought we might feel better knowing that warm days really are coming. This is a tiny sample of Harry Stilson’s images of spring and summer. take a look, and be comforted. Honest, the spring thaw will be here soon.

Harry owned two houses on Chaffin Street, now Grayland Avenue, between Cary Street & the Downtown Expressway. His flower gardens took up an entire extra lot beside his house and were known  as “Grandpa’s Dalia Garden.” He even rented an empty lot across the street for another garden.

Grandpa's garden

Grandpa’s garden

Their porch was loaded with plants. Maybe this is why my aunt always loved porchulaca plants. The decorative pot in the background is in my Florida room now.

flower boxes GraylandThe Stilsons owned and rented other properties including the building in Carytown where the Christian Science Reading Room is located. His favorite tenants were a young British couple, the Crawfords, and his collection includes lots of pictures of Poppy Crawford. Below, she is picking strawberries in Harry’s garden.Sweet, juicy strawberries warm from the sun and popped into your mouth. Savor that image…

Poppy, strawberriesAbout Harry’s son Don’s attire…Ettiquette dictated that gentlemen wore hats but I guess they didn’t mention shoes. Imagine your bare toes in sun-warmed grass…

Don barefootVirginia Beach was less commercial back then.Harry’s photos of empty expanses of beach and few houses mix with surf shots and bathers. The photo of Harry with his daughter and grandchildren is unusual in that he is NOT holding a camera. Only the fear of water damage could pry his camera from his hands. Recall the heat of summer sun on your back and remind yourself that summer WILL come. Just not soon enough, to my way of thinking.

Anita and Don Stilson, Virginia Beach HHS ASL HDL NKL on beach

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