Notes: Friendship Album, 1933: Episode 9

Last week I traveled to Atlanta to give a presentation to the East Cobb Quilters’ Guild. It was a great trip, though I saw my life flash before my eyes several times while driving through Dunwoody and Marietta during rush hour. In this week’s episode, Dorothy remembers the first time she put Hannah on a train to Atlanta and Spelman College, knowing her daughter would have to move to a segregated carriage when the train reached Washington, D.C. Ohio wasn’t a paradise for African Americans in the 1930s, but at least Dorothy’s children had been spared the humiliations of Jim Crow segregation.

I found the above picture on Pinterest. No information was given about who this young woman was, and from her clothes I suspect this picture was taken in the 1940s or ’50s, not the 1930s. Yet there’s something about the photograph that made me think of Hannah, young, beautiful, wondering about the choices she’s made so far in her life …

I drove to Atlanta on I-85 South. Whenever I take I-85, I think about how once upon time it was a Native American trading path and then became a road that white settlers traveled and traded on as well. But before humans walked down the Great Trading Path, it was a buffalo trail. There are so many layers of history to think about when you’re stuck in yet another traffic jam in South Carolina!

In this week’s episode, we go back in time to Emporia, Kansas, where Emmeline spent her childhood. Emporia was the home of some of 20th century’s most famous quilters. I found this wonderful photograph of a Kansas quilting bee and thought I’d include it here, with a promise of a deeper exploration of the Emporia quilters in a future post.

Today’s episode ends Part One of our story and is where we’ll close the curtain until September. I’ve had such a great time recording this podcast, and my production team has done an amazing job making it sound great, but it’s been a lot of work! We’ll be back Friday, September 7th. Can’t wait to see you then!