Posted by: marthabernie | October 18, 2015


scan0039I have been thinking a lot about my mother this week, so I am reposting this photo of her taken about a year after she and my father were married.

This is a photo of my mother, Anna Shank Marlin, taken in 1935 when she was 20 years old, in Culver City, California.  My parents left Missouri in 1934 and came to California because there was work to be found here.  One of my father’s uncles had been living here for a year or two, and on a driving visit to the family, he encouraged my parents to return with him.  They literally drove across the dust bowl on their way west.

I find this photo interesting for a variety of reasons.  My mother made all her own clothes, so the blouse and jacket she is wearing were definitely created by her.  She has a little flat, white purse tucked under her left arm.  I remember seeing it when I was a child, but I don’t know what happened to it.  She is wearing lots of lipstick (she always wore red, no other color) and her now famous eyebrows are painted on.  She had tiny, thin eyebrows, and even in her 80’s, she felt the need to use an eyebrow pencil to paint them on more thickly.  The big surprise, though, is the earrings.  She always wore jewelry, but her ears were never pierced, and I never saw her wear earrings–except in this photo and maybe one or two others.  It appears to be something she gave up long before I was born.


  1. I always remember her painting on her eyebrows!


    • When she got much older and could not see very well, she would have me do it but I could never get them just the way she wanted them!


  2. She’s very beautiful. My Mom (born 1911) painted on her eyebrows too. When I was little I asked her why. She told me that when she was young it was all the rage for the girls to pluck their eyebrows and make them very thin. She said hers never grew back thick again. She was always warning me to never pluck my eyebrows!!


    • That may have been what happened to my mother….she was the only one in the family who didn’t have thick eyebrows!


  3. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing the story and photo xxx


  4. Very pretty and a talented seamstress, to say the least. Great photo.


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