The Gus’s, or is it Gusses….


gustav and augusta

Jeff’s greatgrandparents Gustav and Augusta and their family…with Jeff’’s grandfather being the youngest boy, sitting in the front.  Gus and Gus lived in Detroit, we think this photo was taken at their home on 25th Street about 1910.  EEEK ( Jeff’s mom) lived her childhood right down the street from her grandparents.  She especially loved Augusta, her “big grandma”…not that she was so big, but just bigger and softer than her tiny maternal grandmother.  

If you followed my “Tailor quilt project” here and here,  Gus was the tailor, and Augusta was the seamstress who patched the wool samples together to make the quilt.  EEEK says that this grandmother also made all her winter coats until she was about 16 years old.  Taking a guess, Gustav probably made the suits he and his sons are wearing.  The tailor shop was in the back of their home, and EEEK would clean the shop for her grandfather for 25 cents.  

My big question is, why the serious expressions?  The children have slightly pleasant looks on their face, but the two Guses…serious.   Was this the fashion???  EEEK says they were stoic Germans.  I had to look up stoic because I wanted to be perfectly clear on the meaning:

Stoic or stoical:   Not affected by or showing passion or feeling. being indifferent to pleasure or pain. 

Yes, that explains their attitude and expressions quite well.  

I had this photo set aside to ask EEEK  some questions,  and she had answers!    Digging out more mysterious old photos and hearing their story will be a good Sunday afternoon pasttime this winter with the EEEK.

4 responses »

  1. I love stories like this!
    Kat’s story does make sense, but I have noticed that a lot of the older people in our family don’t smile. They look down right crabby, even if that is not their true disposition!
    Just a different era, I guess.

  2. It took a while for the photo to be taken. So, many people held their face in the most natural position, so it would not look blurred if they couldn’t keep the same smile.

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