“Sig”, could this man have been my grandfather?

Here are more photos of a young gentleman from my grandmother’s high school memory book. His name is Seignor Jernigan. All I really know about his from her book is that he gave her a Kodak for her graduation gift, there are quite a few photos of him (more than any other young man), and based on local newspaper clippings, they visited quite often ;) He wasn’t in her class, he was two years older. These photos were taken in 1930. And it looks an awful¬†lot like a courtship if you ask me.

But it wasn’t meant to be. While they have some lovely photos together and clearly did a lot of visiting – couldn’t get away with anything that a small town Texas newspaper wouldn’t talk about in 1930 – they were bound for different paths. My grandmother, as valedictorian of her class, had multiple scholarship offers to college and eventually graduated from the University of Texas. Seignor completed high school but went into ranching and farming and WWII from there. Holly would marry my grandfather in 1934 and lived in Houston, Texas most of their married life. Seignor married Johnnie and would spend his adult live in Mills county – the same small town where these pictures were taken. It appears Seignor died in 1987 in Lampassas, Texas; his wife Johnnie about 8 years later.

It’s always odd to think about what might have been. But even stranger to consider¬†who I might have been if my grandmother and/or Seignor has choosen a different path. My grandfather, Howard, was such a large and positive presence in my life that I can’t even fathom it. But in 1930, none of that mattered.

Blanche Dellis Prater, “My Dearest Friend”

I’m going to do something a little different with this post. I have a treasure of a family document, my grandmother’s 1930 High School “memory book”. It was a gift upon her graduation from her oldest sister, Sybil Guthrie. My grandmother, Holly, either loved high school (likely since she was the valedictorian) or was really bored because this book is chalk-full of memories, photos, signatures, letters, grades, you name it. It’s absolutely wonderful!

One of the first pages is titled “My Dearest Friend.” On it is one photo “Blanche” or Mrs. Hillard Prater as she was soon to be known. It’s a beautiful photo; and I knew a lot about Blanche without doing any research. She was probably born around 1911, just like my grandmother. She went to Mullin high school and therefore likely lived in Mills county, Texas, like my grandmother. And she clearly married Mr. Prater. Later in the book she’s identified by the last name Dellis.

Here are the many places where Blanche makes an appearance in my grandmother’s memory book:

  • My Dearest Friend page (see photo)
  • Nicknames and Nonsense page – Blanche’s nickname was “Auntie”, later in the book she’s referred to as “Blondie”
  • On the “class roll” listed in the local newspaper
  • The “My Friends” page. Blanche’s note on 5/14/1929 to my grandmother was “Love me lots.”
  • Blanche was listed as the “circulation manager” on the Tattler staff 1929-1930
  • She and my grandmother were on the girls basketball team (Blanche was a guard), Blanche is also listed on the tennis team
  • The “Holidays” page says “Blanche and Rosa Meek came to see me. We went to Goldthwaite and saw Seignor.” Christmas day there was a “party at Blanche’s”
  • Another photo of Blanche in the senior photo (attached) and on the basketball team photo (attached).
  • On a “Dates” page, Blanche’s wedding date is noted as June 7th.
  • A photo of Mr. and Mrs. H Prater (attached).
  • A full page in the memory book is signed by Blanche with a note. (photo attached)

I hope that my grandmother’s careful preservation of her high school memories can be beneficial to others – like Blanche’s family. It’s a treasure trove I’m more than happy to share!