There were some truly fine entries in this, the 11th installment of the Walking the Berkshires Family Archive Caption Contest. My father even chimed in with a caption that had me in stitches, for reasons to be explained below, but in the end it was that blogging bookseller and humorist Bill West of West in New England who took the prize.
My mother's elder sisters appear in the original photograph in the summer of 1944. That's Peggy on the left, and the one on the right with an uncharacteristically dour expression on her face is my Aunt who goes by the nickname "Happy."
Happy was by all accounts a particularly cheerful child practically from birth, setting an impossible standard for future siblings who occasionally might have had an off day or felt the need for a prolonged squawk. My father knows the story, told with great umbrage by my mother, about a dreaded distant relative and elderly Boston Brahman "Cousin Bessie" who used to inspect the Barker girls on her annual visit and make the most dreadful pronouncements about their comportments and dispositions. Mom was mortified to be greeted one holiday season by Cousin Bessie's; "Why Betsy, what a fat bottom you have!", and the the story goes that she also said to my Grandmother; "Athalia, how is it that you have one such delightful child and one such guttersnipe?" Aunt Happy was not the one tagged with that outrageous label, hence my Father's caption suggestion: "Cousin Bessie thinks you are a guttersnipe. And she's right!"