Two weeks from today I will be taking a certification exam. I had planned that I would not be participating in any linky parties until then, but when I saw this week's prompt for Sepia Saturday, I could not resist!
In 1938 my paternal grandfather, Howard Matthews, was Executive Secretary of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. Back then, the Institute had four expeditions operating in what was then known as the Near East; the Epigraphic Expedition in Luxor, Egypt, where they were copying the inscriptions of the walls on the temples in that area; the Megiddo Expedition in Palestine which was excavating the site of Armageddon; the Persian (now Iran, of course) which was excavating the Temple of Darius and Xerxes at Persepolis; and the Syrian Expedition at Allepo, near Antioch.
In 1938 Grandpa was sent to do the rounds of these expeditions and my grandmother, Dagmar, went with him, leaving New York at the end of February and returning on the Aquitania on June 1.
I wish I could say that I have pictures of my grandparents riding camels, but I do have these.
Grandpa's caption reads"Guide who sang "Yes, we have no Bananas"
---on our way to Sakkarah."
I had heard of this trip my entire life. My grandparents always had their Howard Carter prints and other mementos in their home in Connecticut, but I had never seen this album until after my father's death six years ago.
I certainly had never imagined that I would see a photo of my grandmother with her skirt hiked up to her thigh so that she could ride a donkey! If you knew her the way I did, you would share my surprise.
There is also this excerpt from a letter home during their stay in Cairo, "Last night they got in touch with us about 10 pm, and asked if we wanted to see the pyramids by moonlight. We rushed up and changed our clothes. We girls all wore slacks so we could ride on a camel, but the camels had gone to bed, or so we thought, but after a while one lone dragoman and a camel came along, so we all had a ride. The camel's name was Missouri and he was a nice fellow. He jogged along and trotted and I bounced. When Missouri was to let me off I thought I'd fall because he first collapsed his front legs, then lowered his rear end slowly. Then we had our fortunes told, a lot of bosh but it was fun. We got back to our hotel at 1:30 am."
What I wouldn't give to have some pictures of that outing! My grandmother on a camel AND in slacks. Both equally shocking to me, I never saw either in my life. This is as close as I'll get.
Don't you just love the saddle shoes?
These are such precious photos! I'm so glad that my father left them for me. He would have been 75 next week and I miss him as much as six years ago.
Well, as I said, I really shouldn't be playing at all right now, so please don't be offended if I don't get to visit you for a few days or more.
Be back with some Easter cards tomorrow or Sunday.