This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

Music by the Lake at Glenwood, Minnesota

27 June 2014

It's summertime. The hats are white, the grass is up, and there's no ice on the lake. What could they be watching?

The children watch too, divided into separate clumps of boys and girls.

Some wish that they were on stage too. Then they could wear a different cap.

What has captured everyone's attention? It is a children's band concert with nearly 30 young musicians all dressed in white and wearing sailor hats (with a few adult ringers to play the solos.)

They are playing their music in the band shell by Lake Minnewaska in Glenwood, MN. Civic structures like this were once very common all across America as summertime concerts were regular events for small towns like Glenwood, which had a population of only 2,220 in 1930. Constructed of concrete and brick, the design produced very efficient acoustics that easily projected sound without the need for electronic amplification. This band shell was built in 1925 (we can spot the date marker on the right, partly hidden by the small tree) and it remains a feature of Glenwood's lakeside park where the sound of school bands may still be heard across the lake.  

What makes this a special photo postcard is that Glenwood, MN was the hometown of my grandfather, Wallace Robert Dobbin. He was born there in 1906 but by the late 1920s or 30s when this school band photo was taken, he had made a new life far away in Maryland where he worked at the Union rail station in Washington, D.C.

Of course Glenwood then changed from a hometown to a holiday destination. And in the summer of 1935 he took his wife - my grandmother, and their 5 year old daughter - my mother, for a trip to meet his extended family relations in Glenwood.  I believe it was their first trip to Minnesota and their first look at  Lake Minnewaska.  

They got a little wet.

On the left is my great grandfather William Dobbin, my mother Barbara Dobbin, my grandmother Blanche Dobbin, and my grandfather Wally Dobbin.     It is a moment of pure delight. 

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where it's summertime and the living is easy.


La Nightingail said...

I'm always curious to see how you're going to work music and instruments into the current challenge. I figured this one would be a bit of a tuffy, but you came through perfectly as always! Good show.

Susanna Rosalie said...

How sweet! Very cherishable, indeed!

Sharon said...

That final photo is so precious! So natural and real! A moment in time preserved!

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Love what you did with the first photo to tweak our curiosity!

Jo Featherston said...

A great music -related post linked up to that wonderful family photo!

Kristin said...

What a lovely family photograph. The adults all look so happy and playful.

Karen S. said...

Well of course when I saw Minnesota I had to see what you were posting. The last photo is priceless, and the expression on your mother's face is so precious!

Little Nell said...

Of course they were all watching; I bet it was really entertaining. Lovely family photo you shared too - I wonder what your Mother is thinking.

Kathy Morales said...

I remember going to concerts in the park in the town where I grew up. That picture of your family is quite special. Lots of love and joy there.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful build up to the grand finale. A memorable photo..Lucky you.

Postcardy said...

Your family photo is great. I like the simplicity of the band shell too.

Anonymous said...

What a happy snap of 3 generation - something to treasure. I wonder who took the photo. and as usual you have tied this photo to a musical theme to show us some more of your post card collection.

Bob Scotney said...

I can't remember the last time I saw a bandstand in use in the UK. From music to family in swimsuits - a perfect connection.

Wendy said...

Lots of communities have the gazebo-style bandstand, but I didn't realize the shell was so common. The family picture is GREAT. I've never seen my great-grands in a bathing suit.

anyjazz said...

That family photograph is an absolute treasure. Not only does it document your ancestors but it displays the happiness and unity of your family. Great photograph.

North County Film Club said...

A wonderful post as usual. I can just hear the music coming out of that bandstand. Wish they were still around.
The family photo at the end of your post is delightful. They look so happy.
Ladies of the Grove

Tattered and Lost said...

The people are so perfectly grouped as if done by a stage manager. I love how you deconstructed the parts. And a wonderful shot of your grandparents.


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