Saturday, January 9, 2016


The next vintage photo from Granny Ross' photo album is an image of David Charles Ross in the Ross family garden.  He appears to be about eight or nine years old, so this photo was probably taken around 1944/45. He is my uncle.

In February of 1943, Governor Homer Adkins asked Arkansans to plant Victory Gardens to help supplement food rationing on the homefront during World War II.  My guess is the Ross family garden wasn't a Victory Garden, but a subsistence garden that preceded the WWII need for supplementing their rations or boosting the community's morale.

The garden harvest is bountiful.  David is seen holding two cantaloupes with other vegetables displayed proudly in front of him and the cute puppy. The photo's subject suggests it was taken on a hot July morning since David is dressed in just his overalls and no shirt and cantaloupes are a late July crop.  Other vegetables that would soon grace the dinner table and Granny Ross' canning pantry are tomatoes, black-eyed peas, cucumbers, and squash. The produce from the family garden is a true representation of a south Arkansas summer garden.

The garden size gleaned from just this photo appears to represents a good size family garden.  It definitely could meet the dwindling Ross family food needs in the mid 1940s.  Just in this corner of the garden you can see plenty of tall pole beans, cantaloupe plants running across the ground in front of the beans, a freshly plowed area readied for the next planting of the season, and many many tomato plants in the foreground. The garden is fenced by a hand hewn fence made from cut tree trunks and crumpled wire to prevent those pesky intruders that plague every gardener.

During this timeframe there were probably only three or four Ross family members still living at home.  My grandfather, Robert "Pete", his wife Lennie (Granny Ross), and their son David (my uncle) definitely would be living at home and working the garden.  Another uncle who was not married until 1947 may have been at home.  At the time of this photo, Loucious was likely already in Europe serving in the Army during World War II. The other eight children were already married or had moved out of the house.

As for the cute puppy in the photo, I would love to know its name.



Ross, David C. Photograph. ca 1944. Digital image. Privately held by David C. Ross, II, Henderson, Nevada.

Arkansas. Clark County. 1940 U.S. census, population schedule. Digital images.

"World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940 - 1947," digital images, ( : accessed 8 January 2016) Loucious Oliver Ross, serial no. 818, order no. T10,995, Draft Board Clark County, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; citing World War II Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1940 - 1947, NARA microfilm Record Group: RG 147; no specific roll cited.

The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture ( : accessed January 8 2016), "World War II."