Well, really, my Great-Aunt Sarah. Just saying her name makes me smile. She was a frequent summer visitor to our house, when I was very, very young. I remember her as always smiling, always happy. Here she is holding me on her lap, long, long ago. That is the smile that I remember. I just realized that I still have that lawn chair.
She was a successful businesswoman, running a hair salon that featured the "Harper Method." If you have never heard of this method, or Martha Matilda Harper, the woman who invented and franchised it, here is an article that explains who she was, and what she accomplished. Martha Matilda Harper and the Harper Method. She was quite a pioneer, in her time. One of the women who visited Aunt Sarah's salon was Mary Pickford.
But that is not the Aunt Sarah that I remember. I remember the jolly lady who would sit out on the lawn with my Grandmother and spend the entire afternoon doing handcrafts, and chatting. I remember the woman who always had time to sit down and have a tea party with me. And, I remember that she told wonderful stories, though most of them have faded from my mind now. Only the Country Mouse who went to live in the big city remains. I wonder if that was Aunt Sarah, telling stories about herself?
Here are my Grandmother, and Aunt Sarah. Yes, Aunt Sarah could often be that sweet and silly.
I have a cousin named Sarah, named, of course, after our sweet Aunt. I haven't known her very well for most of our lives, because we have lived so far apart. But, through the wonders of the internet, we are now getting to know each other. We're discovering that, though our lives have taken very different paths, we have a lot in common. And, I'm discovering that there is a lot more of Aunt Sarah than just her name, in my Cousin Sarah. Here's an old picture of us, when we were young. I'm the baby, Sarah is the one in the middle (who does that smile remind you of?), and the beautiful girl on the left is my other cousin, Mary Lou, who also has a very sweet smile.