Photographs from Home
June, Betty, and friends at the beach, most likely in Galveston, a favorite day trip for young people from Houston
It is somewhat speculative, but I'm reasonably confident that these pictures were ones sent by Billy's friends and/or family to him while he was in England. They were found in the summer of 2007 as I was sorting through the last photos taken from June's house. My feeling that they were sent to him while he was abroad comes from the notes appearing on the back of some in June's handwriting, that sound to me like attempts to fill in an absent friend on the doings of those left behind at home. For example, see the note on the reverse of the photo above, in image and transcription:
Transcription: "Bonnie telling how it's done–Brother, don't be fooled by that sweet look on Betty's face–Doesn't Ruby look coy–no remarks concerning the fourth member please unless you notice the sad, faraway look in my eyes which translated always means 'Wish you had been there too.'"
Bonnie is on the left, and Ruby on the right; they were friends of June and Billy's. Betty (Billy's sister) is in the middle, and June is in front.
Here is another picture of homely fun, with a descriptive note on the reverse in June's handwriting:
Here is a transcription of the note:
"The tall blonde is Kitty–I've told you about her many times. Two-Gun has the dainty slice. Yep, I'm the one behind that half of watermelon. As for Bonnie, it looks like she is getting ready to cut a piece just 'that' big."
Kitty and Bonnie are family friends I remember from my childhood. I never met "Two-Gun," but June identified her in many pictures as "Helen," and she couldn't remember how she'd gotten her unusual nickname.
And yet another from the beach:
The note says:
"Alvin had a good time really even tho he doesn't look it here–Betty feeling playful as usual."
June is at the right and Alvin is the gentleman on her right. Betty is second from the left and the other woman is not identified. But she looks a little like "Two-Gun."
The following three pictures of June have no notes on the reverse, but they were found with the pictures above, and seem to be from the same period, so I am assuming they also were sent or given to Billy during the war. A piece of evidence to support this supposition is the fact that June is wearing his airman's wings in the picture on the right, taken in front of her parents' house at 2314 Watson Street in Houston. Billy sent her the wings in February of 1943, according to this letter, and he mentions a picture of her wearing them in a later letter, but that might be the one at the foot of this page. (The middle picture was taken on the Watson Street house's front porch.)
Here are two more undated photos, the one on the left with June wearing the wings again. The woman with her in that photo is her friend Kitty, on the right it's Betty:
These two pictures have notes on the reverse, but not in June's handwriting. My guess is that it is Betty's, his sister's, and that the dog is their family pet. But these are just guesses, since I have no recollection of any mention of a dog named "Buzz," nor do I recognize the yard in which he's pictured, nor the handwriting. Perhaps one of my older Lewis cousins could help with these questions. At least, the notes include dates.
These three pictures have no notes on the reverse. I believe they were taken while Billy was in training in Texas, given his uniform, but it is possible they were taken after his return from Europe. The picture on the left, with June and their friend Alvin Wright, was taken on the front porch of June's parents' home. The one in the middle features Billy flanked by his friends Alvin, on the left, and, I believe, Ben Stone, on the right. I don't know the location of this photo, although it could have been at Billy's house. I assume the picture of Billy with the car is at his mother's house, but it could have been at a friend's.
Billy's friend Ben Stone, whom I believe to be the third person in the middle photo above, was apparently in the Navy during the war. Here are 3 photos of him in dress whites, that were dated 1943 on the reverse. The two with the car look like they were taken in the same neighborhood as some of the other photos on this page, in particular the one on the right above. Note the unpaved street:
Here is a picture of Billy and June's friend Lurline Dehner, who is mentioned in some of Billy's letters. I feel like this is a picture she sent him in England, given the note on the reverse: "The Blond from the Hites." By "Hites," she means the Houston Heights, a neighborhood near where Billy grew up. A few of his letters make reference to football games and other activities involving the "Hites." Lurline remained a family friend for many years, as I remember her from visits with Betty when I was young.
To finish this collection, I offer these lovely photographs, of Una on the left, and June on the right. Again, I have no direct evidence for this belief, but I'm fairly certain the photos, in their leather cases, were carried by Billy in Europe. Note the wings on June's bodice in her picture.