Our maternal grandfather, Emanuel [upper row, second from left], is perhaps the best-looking of the brothers, the offspring of two Danish immigrants. Grandfather Larsen stood over six feet, and with his blond hair and blue eyes, he once considered joining British Queen Victoria’s personal guards regiment. With his attitudes towards folks of other races, he would’ve been a good candidate for Hitler’s Liebstandarte, which was also composed of blondes standing six feet and over. One of his more stunning lines: “Swedes are nothin’ but niggers turned inside out.”
The only memory we have of him is of his heavily rouged face inside his coffin, which we glimpsed only briefly as we were lifted up by our father.
Compare the difference with this 1897 portrait today’s causal shots. Getting a family portrait in a photographer’s studio before the turn of the last century was an ordeal, requiring the best clothes and the most formal expression.
We only recall one of the women, by then much withered by age. Aunt Maggie would give us our beloved cat, Mickey Cornhusker [because she lived in Nebraska]. We’re not sure just where she is in the picture. Click on the image to enlarge.