Sketch of An Unknown Man

I don’t know who this man is, where or when the drawing was made, or why my mother kept it for many years.

My sister found the sketch when she was going through Mother’s papers after she died in January 2011.  It must have meant something to her, since she brought it with her to Florida after she discarded most things when she moved from Vermont in the early 90s.

I vaguely remember her showing it to me when I was younger, but I can’t recall a story associated with the drawing.  My sister doesn’t remember one either.

I believe this man is related to my mother’s mother’s family from Prussia or Germany. They may have had some Russian and Polish heritage. It is hard to tell the exact age of the drawing, but based on the beard, suit style and aging paper, I estimate it was done in the late 19th century.  The young man has a lot of good humor in his expression and a whimsical smile.  The high forehead and straight nose run in the family. I love the slightly turned head. I thought the man looked a little like my nephew, Patrick.

My mother had a blue locket with a photo of a man and woman.  The man looks slightly like an older, sadder and more serious version of the youth in the sketch.  Again, I don’t know who these people are. They may be a set of great grandparents from my mother’s side.  My sister thought they may be our father’s mother’s parents, the Nasons, who were killed in an avalanche in Colorado around 1906.  That said, I don’t think Mother would have held on to a sketch or photos of Dad’s relatives without being clear about who and what they were.

I think Mom withheld what she knew of the sketch.  It may have been someone or something she didn’t want to talk about but also something she didn’t want to give up.  She passed along a mystery.



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By Karen