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The Family Portrait

The Family Portrait, acrylic painting by Cora C. McLandress 

Four generations of my parents' families, both American and Canadian, are shown in The Family Portrait. It was painted by my mother some 40 years ago. Measuring 4' by 3', it adorned a wall in the dining room of our house in Winnipeg for many years.

My mother is the one pouring tea from the silver tea service handed down to her from her ancestors at Oakley Plantation in Louisiana. Atop the camel sits my Canadian father. I am the one in the striped T-shirt sitting in the front row beside my brother and sister. 

My paternal grandfather is the one in the Scottish Highlander uniform. My maternal grandmother, another Scot, is two to his right in the light blue dress. That side of the family is Canadian, Scottish-Canadian to be more precise. They will not be discussed here.

My maternal grandparents are to the right of my mother: Cora Floyd Keeler under the orange umbrella and beside her Charles Henry Moore, a colonel in the U.S. Army. They were married in Honolulu, Hawaii where my grandparents lived for several years: my grandmother moved there from Berkeley, California to teach school; my Arkansas-born grandfather from the Philippines where he was stationed for a year, and before that Siberia where he was sent after graduating from West Point in 1918.

At far left are my maternal great grandparents: James Edward Keeler, who was America's leading astrophysicist at the time of his death in 1900 at age 42, and his wife Cora Slocumb Matthews from Oakley Plantation. They met at Lick Observatory in California in the 1880s when my great grandfather was an assistant astronomer there and my great grandmother was a tutor for her half-cousin, Harry Floyd, the daughter of Richard S. Floyd, president of the Board of Trust of Lick Observatory.

Atop the donkey is my mother's aunt Bessie Boehm Moore from Little Rock, Arkansas, who spent 25 Christmases with us in Winnipeg. It is from her that I acquired my taste for coconut cake and Mexican wedding cakes. 

Identification key for Cora C. McLandress' painting The Family Portrait

Click on thumbnail to identify everyone in The Family Portrait.

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