My Great Aunt Ruth always wrote on her pictures. Not simply a name or date, but often a little tidbit about the subject. She also always wrote the name of the person who was to get the photo after her death. A lot of times I find a name or two crossed out and another added because she has decided someone else should get it. This has proved invaluable to preserving family history. I wanted to show above that she didn't candy coat things, but rather told them as they were. I once saw a photo with her sister and another man where she had written something about not knowing who the man was. Her sister, my Aunt Dorothy wrote on that picture "What do you care?" Letting her know it wasn't her business.
Above are a few examples. First one I thought was cute because she said "Okie Friend".
The next one is her daughter, the back says "was 4 years old 1939, July 15, give to Barbara McDonald-crossed out, Wanda Ritchie-crossed out and again Barbara McDonald. "Doris Lavenia Dawson age 4 years 1939, I lost her 2 months and 2 days ofter this was taken" Heartbreaking to read in her mother's handwriting.
Of the picture of the little boy next to the car she writes "Rose little boy the one Lee Roy beat. Give to Lois West" Yes, my Uncle Lee Roy was dating this little boys mother Rose and obviously beat this poor little boy. Most of us would not preserve such history but I think it should be. (Just think of the things you might write if you were to be completely honest in your family album.)
The last picture is my mother Barbara and her cousin Wanda. My mother was very poor and Wanda in comparison wasn't. Written on the back of this photo it says "I think Wanda is staring at the holes in Barbara's shoes." My mother still takes it as a put down. Looking back my mom is able to see being the poorest in her extended family brought hurtful humor. My Great Grandfather liked to say "If you are going to invite Lois give her plenty of notice so she can wash Barbara's only dress."