Friends: Jim Humphries

In the 1950s and 1960s Dad’s best friend was Jim Humphries.  Jim, his wife Thelma, Mom, and Dad spent a lot of time together – golfing, traveling, swimming, eating, and playing cards.  Dad and Jim would bet on anything.  Not serious addictive gambling, but nickel and dime gambling.  Maybe a quarter bet and one would pick a corner in the Friday Night Fights before they knew which boxer they had bet on.  And all the winnings from all the games went into a pot.  That pot paid for many of those dinners and vacations – but that’s another story.

Jim was handsome, charming, and funny.  His drink was a martini.  His dinner order in a restaurant was always NY steak and baked potato.

Dad was devastated when Jim died.  In a letter to my brother he wrote “This man had a real influence in my life and I believe all of you were influenced by him also… It was an unusual friendship Jim and I had – I don’t believe we ever shook hands – we didn’t need to…  Everybody should look for and find a friendship like our during your lifetime.”

On his calendar 7 August 1970, Dad noted “I lost a real, genuine friend today – Jim Humphries passed away this afternoon at McCain’s ranch near Jacumba.  It was his 8th heart attack – he had never really recovered from his 7th attack on Easter Sunday this year.  He was scheduled to go for tests at Sharp hospital on 8/18/70 to see about open heart surgery.  “Everybody that knew him and I mean everybody, will miss this man.”

Dad had many friends, but never one as close as Jim.

 

Anna Sarah Townsend Claycomb

The woman in the hammock is my great-grandmother, Anna Sarah Townsend Claycomb (1864-1892), wife of Frank Erwin Claycomb.  She is at a TB sanitarium in southern California, possibly Pasadena.  The year is about 1892.  I can’t prove it, but the family story is that the toddler is her youngest child, George Francis Claycomb, born 1889.  George becomes the father of the ‘Idaho Claycombs.’

Her residence was in Sycamore, illinois, but she made this trip to improve her health.  It wasn’t successful.

The photo is interesting because of the formal dress on people (family?) and the Asian care takers.  I’m glad they are included in the photograph.

Doorstep Library

Mom (Harriet Claycomb) and her dear friend, Peg Prout, created the Doorstep Library in Detroit, Michigan, about 1937-38.

They carried books in the trunk of the car and delivered to patrons. Put 25 cents in the envelope inside the back cover and you could keep the book for a week.

This envelope is from “All This and Heaven Too” by Rachel Field, 1938.