Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?
A Friends of the Library Mystery
Part IV

(To Review, Part I)
(To Review, Part II)
(To Review, Part III)

Scrutinizing the photo of the man in baggy pants for clues, the researcher knew she’d have to put it aside for now until she could talk with someone more familiar with the time frame in which the photo was made. She returned to the index. Ah! Emajean Mahoney was also on page 52! She had overlooked the second entry earlier when she got distracted by the photo of the man she found.

Turning to page 52, she had to gingerly pull the pages apart. Obviously the annual had been damp at some point and with the glossy paper, some sticking had occurred. When she finally got the page open she gazed upon a photo of Emajean Mahoney.  It was a standard graduation photo with cap and gown. The woman portrayed had the look that many sitting for graduation photos bear – a desire to just get it over with. Still, some of the personality showed through. She sat leaning forward, not slumped, but perhaps trying to hurry the photographer along. 

The researcher took a quick look at the rest of the page. Of the twelve photos, seven were women. Six of those said “Registered Nurse” and one said “Bachelor of Philosophy.” Of the five men, there were two Certificates in Medicine, two Doctors of Jurisprudence, and one Bachelor of Arts.
The researcher smacked her forehead. I was in such a hurry to get to the bottom of these mystery photos, I didn’t even look at the year! She flipped to the front page of the book and there it was. The Loyolan, 1933. She sat back and thought for a minute. Wow! All those women with higher educations! Now, how best to proceed?

Looking at the photo page again, she saw that the clues to Emajean Mahoney’s heirs were plain in the annotation.
Her name was followed by
Entered from Jackson High School.
Jackson, Michigan

Okay, two prongs of attack. The name and the location. I can start with a location search here at home, but for the name, I need access to   She started gathering everything up to get ready to go to the library. She loved having her tax dollars  work for her providing access to the database.  She had had it at home for a while, but it was expensive.  Unlike other databases though, ancestry was only available at the library itself.  She picked up the Loyolan to take with her and a cascade of photos fell out. Most were the kind that everyone takes at graduation – friends together posing, graduate poses with family member . . . but one was almost a bookmark, and captured the researcher’s attention immediately.

What a beautiful baby! she thought.

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