“That was your grandmother?” Lena turned the photograph over to see Jeanette Fleming – 1943 in beautiful looping script on the back.
Amelia nodded. “Grandma was unique, to say the least.”
“Apparently.” Lena looked at the photo of a young, dark-haired woman perched on the edge of a rocky cliff. Inside of a giant egg. There were holes for her face and legs—slender, shapely legs at that—but none for her arms. Bizarre. When she glanced up, Amelia’s face was filled with mirth. For a moment, Lena could see the resemblance between daughter and granddaughter in the shape of her mouth and her laughing eyes. Not to mention the legs.
“So what was this photo for?” Lena asked. “I know you said she was a model in the 40s, but I’m perplexed about what kind of advertising campaign calls for a woman inside an egg suit.”
“It wasn’t an ad.” Amelia sipped tea from a large, blue ceramic mug. “She was a pinup.”
Lena eyed the photo skeptically. “I know the troops were hard up for women, but I would have thought the Vargas pinup girls would have been a lot more appealing than an egg. Unless this is some sort of straight-person fetish I’m unaware of.”
Amelia threw her head back and laughed. “I don’t believe so. It was part of a whole Easter series. You’ll find a few more of the photos somewhere in this box. There’s ones of her in bunny ears and a tail too.”
“Now that makes more sense to me,” Lena said drily as she set the photo aside. She picked up another photo that showed two women embracing. “Your grandma and her sister?”
“No, that’s Jeanette’s best friend Ada.”
“They look close.”
Amelia slid closer to Lena on the couch. “There are rumors they were a bit more than friends.”
“Really?” Lena inspected the photo more closely. It was always hard to tell with vintage photographs.
“It’s been a persistent family rumor. Supposedly they were involved before she settled down with my grandpa.”
“Hmm. Do you think she married because she had to? Because she couldn’t be with Ada?”
“I can’t be sure of course, but I don’t think so,” Amelia said slowly. “She and grandpa always seemed to be in love. They held hands all the time and one time I caught them kissing—quite passionately—when she was hanging up the washing on the line and he came to help.”
“Interesting.” Lena mulled over the idea. “I wonder if she was bisexual.”
“I don’t suppose we’ll ever know,” Amelia said with a soft sigh. She slipped an arm around Lena’s waist, and Lena pulled her closer. “She’s not around to ask.”
“What a shame,” Lena said. “I wish I’d met her.”
“You two would have gotten along famously.”
“Want to keep searching for clues about Jeanette and Ada’s relationship?” Lena asked, dragging the box of photos onto her lap so she could continue to search through them without letting go of her girlfriend.
“I’d love to.”
I had NO idea where I was going with this when I posted the photo, but I am really pleased with the way this turned out. Did you enjoy it?
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I look forward to seeing you next Monday!