Sunday, January 8, 2012


While I was recuperating from my Christmas Eve surgery, I had a lot of time to think about New Year's Resolutions. Actually, I don't make what I'd call "resolutions" but I always try to identify anywhere between one and five projects that I can take on for the new year. So my thinking this year went something like this:

1) I need some housecleaning help.
2) I need to thin out all the junk that sits on the floor in this tiny apartment before this can happen.
3) Make a plan to do this, and then do it!

At first I thought I'll move out one item per day. Then I decided no, I'd do one item a week. Then I decided to get real; I decided that one room per month would be the smartest way to get the job done.

January's room is my office. I also allotted two months for this; my office is the repository for my computer, my books, and my knitting, in addition to storage for our gardening supplies, bird feeders and food, old camera equipment, luggage and sewing machine. I would show you a picture of this room, but it is too embarassing to contemplate. Trust me when I say many things need to go. The issue of cleaning comes down to the fact that there is no place to move anything when trying to clean the room. I cannot yet ask someone to come in and clean this room in this condition. But perhaps by the end of February I can.

So, given this explanation, what do all these pictures in the blog mean?

In my closet, pushed way deep in an inaccessible area, was a tall trash basket in which I stored rolls of gift and mailing wrapping paper, large genealogical maps rolled up in tubes, and other items that were there for lack of a better place for them. We moved into his apartment 6 years ago and I rarely had occasion to get anything out of this basket.

Ditching the basket and contents became my first project. In nosing around I found all kinds of things in there that I had completely forgotten about. Some I could toss, some could be put in my genealogy files now, and some given to a thrift store. Within 1/2 hour the basket and at least 3/4 of the material in it was on the way to the dumpster across the street.

But the big surprise was finding in it a cardboard envelope containing some photos that I hadn't seen in years. These were the photos of the bands and the bandsman shown in this post.

In the photo shown at the top of the blog you'll see my paternal grandfather, Scott W. Dobbins Sr. He came from a musical family, and from his early teens he played cornet.

The first picture below is of the West Las Animas (Colorado) band, sitting on the Bent County courthouse steps. Scott, with the cornet at top right, was probably 16 years old then, which would put the date somewhere around 1890.

During the summers both he and his older brother Gaston, a trombone player, played with the Colorado Springs Midland Railway band and participated in many huge band festivals and competitions held in that part of the country. The band had at least two uniforms that I am aware of: one was the traditional "railway" band such as my grandfather is dressed in above and the other was called the "Buckskin" uniform, in which they dressed in Indian regalia. It is this picture that was the big surprise for me. I remember seeing the picture in a newspaper article but I have no recollection at all of getting a decent photograph of it. But there it was, carefully protected in the bottom of the basket I was cleaning out.

The final picture is a 1902 photo of the little Las Animas band again. Scott and his brother Gaston are in it, and the little guy in front is my dad's cousin Percy (Gaston's son) who was the mascot.

Finding the picture of the Buckskin band was an added plus to my first foray into thinning out my "junk." My grandfather Scott died in 1917, long before I was born, and it is a good feeling to have him so well documented visually. Morever, this makes me wonder what else I'm going to turn up as I continue on this year's resolution.

1 comment:

Olga said...

Sounds like you are on a treasure hunt. I hope you can give those pictures a good home and continue with the clearing out of nontreasure.