In this picture of my grandparents, Ruth and Austin B. Brownell, they may be dressed in their working clothes. Ruth managed a gift shop which also sold appliances. Austin's rumpled shirt seems to have holes in the sleeve and might be what he wore running an electrical contracting firm. This photo was taken in Grants Pass, Oregon around August, 1945 when I was about 12 weeks old.
Nancy is getting old enough to be in a swing. The swing and slide set (on right) may have been built by my grandfather, John. In the picture on the right my grandfather, Austin, is pushing the swing. These pictures would have been at the 12th street house but I think the swing may have made it to Manbrin Gardens.
The Statesman, December, 1950
Synopsis: Having toured Santa's toyshops, Steve and Nancy are ready to take over Santa's job while the old man takes a rest.
* * *
On the way back to Santa's house, Steve and Nancy passed through the train shops where hundreds of tiny engineers were making trains.
As a matter of fact, they rode through the train shop on a toy train, but all the time Santa was hurrying them along because it was getting late and he was anxious to get home and get to sleep.
They would have gotten to Santa's house a lot sooner if they hadn't gone through the electric appliance shop.
There, hundreds more little dwarfs were testing out little electric stoves, electric mixers, electric irons and all sorts of gadgets. The whole ceiling of the cottage was decorated with strings of Christmas tree lights.
The dwarfs that were testing the electric stoves had just made some bran muffins. They were being made in thimbles, and a dozen of them wouldn't any more than fill your hand.
Steve and Nancy each ate a dozen. Santa ate three dozen and said they couldn't eat any more be cause they might spoil their supper.
When they got back to Santa's big living room, Santa said, "Sit down for a moment, and we'll go over the work you have to do be fore we take a look at the office."
"When any of the departments have any questions they want answered or any problems come up, they 'phone me at the office. It will be up to you to give the proper answers and keep things going while I'm asleep. If you need any one to run errands for you, there are messengers waiting to do your bidding."
"My, this sounds like a lot to, look after," Steve said.
"I don't find it so hard," Santa replied. "And if for any reason you should want to talk to all the departments at once there is a loudspeaker system. I guess I can show you better in the office so come in there with me."
The office was just two rooms away. First came the waiting room, where a little dwarf sat at a desk, and took messages and asked people what they wanted to see Santa Claus about.
The next room was the office and the children could see right away that it was a very impornant place. It had a thick green rug on-the floor and several very fine looking leather - covered chairs.
At the far end of the room was a huge desk with a shiny glass top. At one side of the desk were seven rows of tiny buttons, each with a little light beside it that lit up when the button was pushed.
At the back of the desk was a microphone, which Santa said was attached to the loudspeaker system which everyone could hear.
In front of the microphone was a fountain pen set with five fountain pens, each with a different color ink in it. At the right hand side of the desk, standing on the floor, was a Christmas tree.
Steve and Nancy looked at it, and then looked again, for it was decorated with telephones, just covered with telephones. "That is the telephone tree," Santa said.
"It has telephones connected to every department."
"Now, I guess you know every thing you need to know to be able to run things here," Santa said, yawning. "I guess I'll turn in and get some sleep. Nancy, you can stay- here or go over to the book department, whichever you wish."
After saying that, Santa gave each of the two children a kiss on top of the head and left them alone.
"The first thing I'm going to do is to get a big electric train with enough track to run all around the office," Steve said, "and I'm going to get attachments to dump coal, load and unload milk cans, and an electric crane."
"And I'm going to get a doll house with all sorts of furniture, and a real electric range," Nancy chimed in.
Over they raced to the telephone. "Hello, train department?" Steve asked. "Send me over the best train you have. And on the way, pickup a fine doll house for Nancy."
"Boy, won't we have fun," he said as he put the telephone back on the tree.
(Tomorrow: Trains That Chirp.)
Steve and Elsie at Silver Creek Falls. August, 1945.
Wes with Steve and Nancy, apparently taken at about the same time as the picture to the left since we seem to be dressed the same.
Steven K. Sullivan
++Steve Sullivan, February 26, 2012
And I've added a few photos to the page that were scanned directly from negatives I found ...
++ Dave Sullivan, March 2015