I don’t know when or where this picture was taken but my guess is that it was taken in the early 1930s in the back yard of Custode’s house in Dunbar. I wonder if that is the school in the background? Philomena and Custode look very much alike in this picture. Lena seems unhappy. Her expression seems to say “I’d rather be anywhere but here.”
I’m not sure who sent me this picture but like so many pictures I’ve seen with Custode in them, it seems marked with gouges and tears. True – the marks are not as distinct as the “X” over Adriano in the wedding picture or the eye-shaped mark over Custode’s forehead in another picture of her, but there is a definite line across Custode’s face in this picture. Just a random rip in an old photo or something more?
It would be great to hear more from anyone who wants to share their recollections of these ladies. In my time of gathering the Giorgio family stories, I’ve often heard that Philomena was a wonderful cook and a very sweet lady. Carole Johnson remembers Aunt Phil taking her shopping for household items when Carole was a newlywed.
People do not describe Lena with such fondness. I have heard that she was a very good piano player and I think I remember Dominic saying that when Lena married his father in 1939, Custode would not let Lena take the piano with her to their farm house.
And then there is Custode – who seems to be smiling in this picture. I am reminded of Richard Galland’s comments at this summer’s family reunion – he knew that his grandmother loved him. “Her children feared her but I never did.” Richard was Philomena’s youngest son, born in 1943, and grew up closer to his grandmother than most of his cousins. His house was directly behind Custode’s, just up the hill that is now Highland Street, separated by a large garden that his father Anthony Galland tended.