The Gold Mine in the Closet: Crossing the Ocean

Sugar’s mother’s father had a military career, and he traveled the world.

His wife and children traveled with him. Sugar’s mother was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and she was named Mary Genevieve in honor of her mother and Geneva.

Finally, after years of travel, his wife refused to travel any more. She went home to Savannah. When he died of cancer, he was in Paris in 1929.

Sugar’s mother was the youngest in the family. He discovered these photos of her on board while sailing from Bordeaux to New York.


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She’s probably about a year old here. She was born in May, and I’m reading online that one doesn’t want to make a sea voyage in the winter in the North Atlantic. So, given her stature and posture, a year seems about right to me.

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This looks totally unsafe for child’s play.



I have new respect for her mother, Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton. Crossing the ocean with six children? Climbing mountains in a long dress and fancy hat, and the only skin showing was her face?

Remarkable. Simply remarkable.


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