Photo # 17 Harold S. Barber
Having known my maternal grandmother and her sister for many years, I always wondered about their brother, Harold. His wife Martha Blanchard, was a favorite of my mother and probably influenced my mother's choice for my name.
Harold and my grandmother played together because my grandmother was called a "tomboy". This left the little sister, Dorothy behind. Great aunt Dorothy and her brother Harold shared a different kind of bond, they spent their whole lives in the town of Westerly. For no reason that I can determine, my maternal great grandparents, and Harold and Dorothy are buried at opposite ends of the same small section (60) of River Bend Cemetery with my Scottish Broadfoot paternal grandparents. This makes it easy for me to visit their graves.
The day we buried my mother's cremains, I motioned for the cemetery superintendent to come forward from where he and the gravediggers were respectfully standing in wait. They look surprised but complied. I guess people don't like to see their loved ones put in the ground? Before the graveside service, I noticed fresh flowers in the iron basket in front of my Barber gravestone. The cemetery superintendent told me that the flowers were frequently maintained and watered. I knew that it must be relatives of Harold's wife Martha. So, I took one of my business cards put it in a Ziploc bag and slid it down the side of the basket. Several days later, I got an email from Martha's niece, who told me her mother remembered my grandmother, my mother and me. We exchanged some information and they helped me with a four generation photo set.
When my mother and I went over the photos, she had to tell me who this was! He looks nothing like this in later years. In this photo, he looks more like my grandmother, his sister, than his parents. Harold's World War II draft card, tells me that his middle name was Schofield and since he was first born, this makes sense.
Harold worked with his father (J. Fred & Son) sharing his love of cars by owning his own auto garage having been a chauffeur and mechanic. His last job (in 1942) was at Murphy Chevrolet at 104 West Broad St. in Westerly. He died two years later. Harold's eyes were hazel, his hair brown and his complexion light. In 1942, he is 5 foot, nine inches and weighs 190 lbs.
Harold and Martha, married about 1915 or so, had no children. In 1930, both Martha's father Thomas Blanchard (widowed, age 87) and a nephew Roy Gavitt (age 17) live with them. Martha outlived him by many years and I am still researching her family.
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