Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) – My Favorite Photo of My Mother

Posted by: Eileen A. Souza

Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings has given us this Saturday Night Genealogy Fun assignment.

1) This is Mother’s Day weekend, so please go through the photographs you have of your mother and share one of your favorite photograph of her. Just one. Oh, tell us why it’s one of your favorites, and tell us something about your mother, too.

Here’s mine:

Mickey Furlani corr sm

This photo has a story. My mother, Marguerite Noble Furlani, died in 1985 of emphysema. While cleaning out her belongings I found this photo, which I had never seen before. I asked my Dad about it. He told me she was 23 when this was taken. Since they were married in 26 July 1941 and she would have been 23 on her birthday of 21 May 21 1941, I suspect this may have been a birthday photo.

I asked my Dad about the color of her dress and secretly took the photo to an expert in coloring photos. He hand-colored this photo beautifully. I had it framed and gave it to my Dad for Christmas 1985. He opened it and cried. This is the first time I ever saw my Dad cry.

When my Dad died in 1989, I took the photo, in its frame home with me, and it has the place of honor in my living room.

My mother was born 21 May 1918 in Ranshaw, Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. She married William C. Furlani, my Dad, on 26 July 1941 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, since that is where her parents currently lived. The newspaper said they honeymooned in Wildwood, New Jersey but she always told me it was Atlantic City, New Jersey.

I think my mother, who was known as Mickey, would be very pleased if I would honor her for her most loved activity—10 pin bowling. I found 143 articles in the Chester/Delaware County Times about my mother. They almost all featured her bowling wins.

She was about 38 years old the first time she went bowling in 1956. She joined a team in a league. That year she entered the Chester City tournament and won! She was a natural. Over her entire bowling career, her average was never under 200. She probably could have gone pro but, in those days, women stayed at home with their families. She bowled until she could no longer perform due to the illness that would eventually kill her.

One of my favorite stories is of the famous left-handed bowler Earl Anthony, who visited our area. Somehow or another, he and my mother met and he was so impressed with her skills that he gave her some pointers to improve her game. I remember her telling me that he laid in the alley and had her practice rolling the ball down the alley without hitting him.

My mother was a wonderful active woman. She knew everyone in town. We lived in Essington, Tinicum Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. I loved to go with her as she ran errands and visited folks around town. I remember that her friends called her Gas-Ass Mickey because she was always on the move.

Happy Mother Day, Mom!

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One Response to Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) – My Favorite Photo of My Mother

  1. Donna says:

    She sounds like a ton of fun! That’s a beautiful picture.

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