Photo #3: Harcomb and Buster
Taken on the porch of his home at 97 Bowling Lane in Bradford, Rhode Island, in 1924, sits my father with his puppy Buster. He told me all about having a dog, playing fetch and rough housing and making sure he was fed and exercised. I figured that he wanted me to ask for a dog so he could play with it but I never did.
My grandparent's rented the right side of this duplex, mill style house for many years. After they died, my aunt Ada, her husband George and their two children (who are my only first cousins) moved up the street to a different house. My father and his brother lived with them until my father moved in with his sister in Providence and my uncle married.
I wish my father's young life was a carefree as this cute photo suggests. I only have three photos of my father as a young boy and I don't have any of his siblings when they were small. My grandparents both worked to make ends meet. Like most immigrant families, there was a struggle to make a good life. I try every day to remember how easy my life is compared to their life.
My dad was called by his middle name, Harcomb, for many years and we would meet people, even later in his life, who continued to call him that. Of course by calling him that, it distinguished him from his father whose name was also Thomas. I'm glad they did that because it gave me more reason to research his namesake ancestors, two more generations back.
My father, whose feet were always cold from his time in Germany and France in World War II is wearing heavy, woolen socks with his short pants, sailor style shirt and cap. His eyes were light blue and he must not have liked taking his hat off in the bright sunshine to show the photographer his face. My father was always smiling.
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