Floyd & His Fauna

“A good photograph never belongs to the past; every time you look at it, it is with you, it is alive and it is in the present moment!” – Mehmet Murat ildan

Old photographs breathe life into the past. I love them because they’re essentially time travel. You can stand in the middle of Civil War carnage. You can escape to far-off lands. You can gaze into the eyes of ancestors who left the party long before you arrived.

My family is extremely, extremely blessed because we have a treasure trove of old images. My grandma was a magnet for the family’s visual biographies. Every time an aunt or great-aunt passed away, she inherited their albums. By the time she herself passed away in 2000, she had mountains of suitcases and scrapbooks loaded with memories of generations past.

If you’ve read my other blogs, you know I adore genealogy and history in general. I’m the gatekeeper of my family’s history. I cherish that role not only because I get to share pictures and tales with all of you, but also because it grants me the privilege of seeing the past through my ancestors’ eyes. When I study an old photo, I daydream about what was happening when the shutter snapped. Who took the photo? Is there a back story or an inside joke? Did these people ever think one of their descendants would be contemplating their random photo a hundred years later? Those snapshots speak a thousand words. They’re black and white, but they paint the past with such vivid color.

Some of my favorite “old pictures” are ones of my Grandpa Siver before I knew him… long before anyone ever called him “Grandpa Siver.” They help me understand the character I knew during the 14+ years we overlapped. I can flip through hundreds of visual memories of him and the same trends always emerge. More often than not, he’s grinning and he’s typically surrounded by family.

One other trend is why I’m writing this blog today: Grandpa was repeatedly pictured with animals. He loved all kinds of four-legged creatures. From a childhood sidekick named Bob to the Shetland ponies of his senior years, he was an animal’s best friend.

I scoured family albums for the most amusing animal photos. So with limited verbal interruption, I present to you “Floyd and His Fauna.”

Side note: For the sake of clarity, any time you see a photo of my grandpa with his brother Glenn, Grandpa is always the younger and smaller of the two.

1920s floyd with sheep
1920s: With a sheep on the farm. Did he ride this sheep? My money says yes.
1920s with dog
1920s: With the family dog. Did he ride this dog? My money says yes.
1920s with first pony Pet and Bob the dog (800x500)
1920s: With his first pony (named Pet) and loyal companion Bob the dog (yes, his full name was “Bob the dog”).
1920s with uncle arthur siver on colt
1920s: Posing on a colt with his uncle Arthur Siver holding the reins. I’m almost certain the shadow to the left is that of my great-grandma Fern Siver.
1923 floyd and billy the goat
1923: Riding a sled pulled by the appropriately named Billy the goat.
1923 october - with glenn on billy
1923: Hitching a ride with brother Glenn on Billy the goat.
1923 with brownie and julie
1923: Sitting high up in the wagon behind the massive farm horses, Brownie and Julie. The house in the background is where Grandpa grew up and where my aunt and uncle live today.
1924 april - with glenn and horse
1924: Playing around with brother Glenn and a colt. I believe the old White Oak church and cemetery are in the background.
1924 floyd glenn bob cat pet the cow
1924: This is truly a wild kingdom – Glenn and Floyd on a cow… with a cat… and Bob the dog. That’s 16 legs for those of you counting at home.
1924 on wagon holding cats
1924: It’s hard to see, but Grandpa’s clutching a handful of kittens.
1924 standing behind brownie & julie
1924: Seizing the reins behind the behemoth Brownie and Julie.
1924 with fern and glenn and chickens
1924: Tending the flock with his mother Fern and brother Glenn.
1924 with glenn and calves
1924: Comparing calves with brother Glenn.
1925 billy the goat and bob the dog
1925: With Billy the goat and Bob the dog. I swear, that dog would sit on top of anything.
1925 on cow with bob the dog
1925: Perched on a cow with Bob creepin’ in the hay.
1930s floyd and old jack the dog
1930s: Grinning on a winter day with Old Jack.
1930s with cousins and dog
1930s: Straddling Queen with cousins Jeanette and Velma Siver.
1944 - Floyd Siver with Cats
1944: Standing over a murderers’ row of farm cats (who were undoubtedly plotting mischief).
1978 - Gpa and guy with beaver
1978: I’ll take “Things That Make You Go Hmmm” for 600, Alex. What is “Grandpa’s got a beaver on a leash?”


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