Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday's Photo/ Leo Shannon

 L to r back row--Shannon, Phalen, Cooper, Hutchinson, Thompson, Thompson, Swarthout Shannon, Burr
1st Row--McGee, Mosey, Shannon, Thompson

     Leo Francis Shannon is the young man in the back row, one in from the right wearing a Newark uniform.  Leo was my uncle by virtue of his marriage to my great-aunt Alice O'Hora in 1935 at St. Dominic's in Shortsville, NY.  I'm not sure what year this photo was taken; Leo was born in 1910 in Stanley, NY and he doesn't look very old here, I think I'd put it shortly before their marriage.  He obviously gave this picture to Alice, it was found in her photo album after her death in 1981. 

    I don't know what team this might be, if in fact it is a team-- there are uniforms here from Newark, Stanley and that G is probably for Geneva.  The best thing about this picture, other than Uncle Leo being in it, is that he took the time to write the names of the individuals on the back!  It's only last names, but still better than what is on the back of most old photos-- namely nothing.

     Beneath the names it reads, "3 Shannons and 3 Thompson. Isn't this a great picture..." Written sideways at the end of the card is:
"Pat Sev? drownded Nov. 4, 1937".  This was clearly added later, the names are in ink and the notation in pencil.  I'm sure my uncle wrote it, Aunt Alice was a teacher and would never have made that spelling error.  Nothing in this picture seems to relate to Pat Sev. Was that a nickname?  I wondered if I could find a news article at the Old Fulton site, but I didn't have much to go on.  Not expecting much I typed in "drowned November 1937 Patrick", and came up with over 900 hits.  I noticed a good many were from Brooklyn, so I added "-Brooklyn" to the search terms.  That's more like it, only 605, good grief!  I scrolled down anyway and a short way down I saw a local newspaper, the Geneva Daily Times, so I clicked on it.  I was floored when up popped an article about Stanley, NY, my uncle's hometown--

     The unfortunate victim was the young man standing just to the left of Uncle Leo in the Camillus uniform in the above photo.  This article didn't say how the young men ended up in the water, but another one I found said they were in a motorboat that capsized.  I'm still not sure how Pat Sev turns into Leonard Swarthout, but there you have it, "Pat" must have been what the fellows called him and I just lucked out that the name Patrick appeared somewhere on the same page as the obituary.  You know, looking again at that handwriting, I think it says "Sw" not "Sev", maybe it's time for new reading glasses?