Andra Girls

Mary Louise Wanner Andra

This seems an appropriate post for Mother’s Day.  A frame holding a Mom and her four daughters.

I stopped in to visit Larry Andra in Preston on 25 April 2020 while passing through.  I returned a number of photographs to him that were left with me by Twila Andra Lemmons.  In fact, she left me with Golden’s entire family history book which I am still trying to work through and process, along with another 100 or so Ross family photographs.

As I was about to leave, almost as an afterthought, Larry asked me to wait while he pulled a large picture frame from the top of a bookshelf.  In it are pictures of my Great Grandmother and her four daughters, all 8″X10″ pictures.  He said it belonged to his mother, but I don’t recall seeing it when I was a kid.  Not that until she died at age 11 I was taking inventory of what was on the walls of her home.

I photographed them all.  These are all black and white photos that were colored.  As you can see in the photo above, sometimes as whoever is coloring the photo, you lose a number of the details.  Great Grandma’s hair loses quite a bit of detail especially on the right.  The part that captured my attention is I didn’t know the color of my Great Grandma’s hair.  Once color photographs appear, she was already white.  But this gives a dark red.  I do not know how close it was to the original or if she ever dyed her hair, but with two daughters with red hair, it is very likely hers was also red.

Another detail that caught my attention, Great Grandma’s teeth are slightly off-center to the right, her left, from the middle of her lips.  I don’t have a black and white copy of this photo, but as you will notice below, it matches my Grandma too.  This doesn’t bring out the color of her eyes like Sergene’s below, but now I wonder about that detail too.  If anyone updates me, I will update it here.

The photos were arranged with Great Grandma in the middle, and then the girls from oldest to youngest from left to right.

June Andra

This photo of June also gives some of the weaknesses of coloring a photo.  Her hair also takes a hit.  Especially around the outsides.  Here is a copy of a poor black and white copy I have of this same photo.  The part most fascinating to me in this photo is also the reddish color to the hair.  I never knew June but with dark hair, so I am not sure if she colored it most of her life.  I will add a photo of her with much darker hair below.  The brightness of the blue is intriguing too.

June Andra

Unfortunately, this appears to be a copy of an original so the details in the dress are less clear.  It is also pretty worn.  The blue of the eyes is brought out and the lips and teeth also don’t quite line up, but this one is the opposite direction.  But neither photo is clear on whether the coloring is off for location.

Peggy, Keith, Mary Lou, June, and Sharon Johnson

Notice how dark June’s hair is in these photos.  Nearly every photo I have of her is with the dark, dark hair.  I don’t know what her true color was/is over time or if it is just lighting in photos.

Mildred Andra

This photo of Millie is pretty amazing.  I don’t have a related copy of it in black and white, I had not seen this one before.  You can see the photo has had some rub or moisture damage in the frame, they all have had some if you look close.  This one has the scratch across her bridge too.  The highlight of the hazel/green eyes is captivating.  Millie was always a redhead, even though it lightened with the passing of years.

Colleen Mary Andra

I think this photo is the best of the five.  You can see the coloring of hair didn’t remove as many of the details.  Although you can see something happened, or so I thought, with the iris of Grandma’s right eye, her left.  As you can tell by the two photos below, it must be in the photo itself, but did not repeat in the other photo below.  The red of her hair is pretty true as well, just like Millie and I assume Great Grandma (Mary).  As I have mentioned in other posts, her teeth seemed to be just off from center line.  Not to knock, just commenting on the details.  This is my Grandmother and I find it captivating how hauntingly familiar she is to me, and beautiful.

This photo obviously has spots on it and has smudges and did not give us the full head of hair.  But you can see how good the coloring is to the photo above it.  Contrast this photo from the same sitting.

Colleen not smiling!

Different angle of the body, different accents without the smile.  Earrings are much more visible at this angle.  But the iris is normal roundness in this photo.  Not sure how that happened.

Sergene Andra

The last picture is of Sergene.  While the baby of the girls, she was 6th of 12 children.  The remaining six were all boys.  I also have not seen this photo before.  Her hair doesn’t look like it colored well at all.  Even her necklace and face seem to have lost details.  But the eyes and mouth have retained their definition and draw the attention.  I always knew Sergene was a blond.  That was one of the characteristics many people mention of her immediately who knew her when she was younger.

As I look at each of these photos, I can see and feel the family resemblance to my own mother and family.  We truly are related.  The characteristics are so familiar.

Too bad there is not a separate frame with the 6 boys that lived to adulthood with similar portrait style pictures, and colored.  There could be some senior pictures or something out there, but I don’t have them.

One thought on “Andra Girls

  1. I never knew what color Grandma Andra’s hair was. My Mom, Colleen always dyed, cut & styled grandma’s & alot of other women & men’s hair. Perms, too. She used a blue white gray on Grandma Andra. Aunt June always dyed her hair black from the beginning of my memory. They all had false teeth or partcials. I think I may have the the sea shell necklace that i think Aunt Milly has on. It is orange. It is broken & I just have the unstrung shells.


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