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Dads Say the Darndest Things!

Dads Say the Darndest Things!

September 1937. "McNally family dairy farm in Kirby, Vermont. The McNallys at dinner." Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Admin. View full size.


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The Dinnerware

Mount Clemens Pottery, possibly even this color Green.

The Irish gift of gab

This dad apparently passed on his genetic code to his son in more ways than one. They look like clones of different ages and young Robert shows definite signs of inheriting his father's ability to tell a good story, keep the blarney coming and being of good cheer always, kind of like an apprenticeship. Even mom is enjoying the entertainment and going along with Edmund's yarn which she has probably heard a hundred times. I am impressed that a family that works 75 hours a week as farmers (which means EVERYONE works that hard) still has the good nature to enjoy a meal together with enjoyable conversation. Mom also sets a nice table with lots of great depression glass and china and cares enough to provide everyone with good food. Bless all the world's farmers, the rest of us could not live without them.

A Celebration of ?

I wonder what the occasion is? This picture was cropped out of a larger one. There is an extra elbow on the table next to dad’s and an extra female hand next to mom’s. Also there are several extra place settings on the table. The young son appears to be squeezed in at the corner of the table. Dad is telling his joke to someone sitting across from him. If this is in September, could it be a Labor Day celebration?

[It's not cropped and it's not a celebration. Rothstein's assignment was to document everyday life on the McNally's farm. -tterrace]

Introducing ...

Edmund C. McNally (41), Edith S. (34), Robert C. (8). Not pictured are Elizabeth A. (coming in two years), a servant and three hired hands. All are Vermont natives. Edmund completed high school and Edith completed elementary school. Edmund typically works 75 hours per week. Edith will pass away in 1999 at almost 95 but she outlived her son, who died in 1981. Both outlived Edmund, who died in 1973 of heart disease. Elizabeth would live till 2006. All four stayed in Vermont till their death.


Ahhh, so's yer ol' man!


These farmers are lucky to have electricity in 1937, as evidenced by the presence of ice cubes in their glasses. The Rural Electric Co-op didn't reach my farm in upstate New York until 1944 (I didn't live there at the time).


Dad looks like he is telling a joke. Mom and son look like they are about to laugh loudly. Great picture!!

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