The Family Letter Blog

Connecting Generations

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Baby Bryant – 1932

My erratic posting schedule belies my scattered train of thought. I want to be more disciplined but at 60 I don’t think that’s likely to happen. I could fool myself and think – “if only I weren’t working full-time, I’d have more time for  . . . ”

I have always had too many things that I want to do. Consequently, manythings don’t get done. Rather than struggle against the stigma of lack of discipline to be overcome, I think I need to embrace it. You get what you get when you get it – I do what I want when I want to. Ahhh… liberating.

Is it a Kingsbury trait – or just me? I look at pictures of Joseph B. Kingsbury and read his wonderfully written contributions to the family letter and review the many things he accomplished, and I doubt my lack of focus comes from him. (But perhaps his influence has something to do with the many interests and activities I pursue.) Maybe from Kitty Bryant – his younger and more impetuous wife? Who knows – it doesn’t really matter.

I need to be working on taxes but the H&R Block page won’t load so I might as well take a minute (or 60) to share some of these adorable photos of my father as an infant. The dates are noted in JBK’s neat handwriting on the back or in the margin. The first two are from August 21, 1932, which would make my father just 9 days shy of 3  months. The one with Kitty, on the far right, is dated July 30, 1932, which makes him exactly two months old.


I have a copy of my father’s birth certificate so I know he was born in Bethesda, Maryland. I’m guessing Kitty was at home with her parents in Washington DC as the time for his birth approached because Joe and Kitty never lived in Bethesda. From his federal job application, I know that JBK was teaching government at St. Johns College in Annapolis Maryland from  September 1928 to June 1936. During his summers, JBK often worked for E.O. Griffenhagen & Associates, a Chicago consulting firm that did accounting and personnel studies. He was working for them when he and Kitty got married in January 1928 and their married life began in Columbus, Ohio.

From his letters to Kitty before they were married, I know that his job consisted of interviewing various state agencies and compiling salary surveys and personnel reports in an effort to equalize pay grades within state government. This work took him to such exotic places as Boston, MA, Hartford CT, Columbus, OH, Richmond, VA, Sacramento, CA and East Lansing, MI.  He must have been in Hartford the summer after Bryant was born because this photo is labelled “Hartford 1932.”KBK.Hartford.1932

I’ll end this post with one last photo of baby Bryant and his mother Kitty, which I believe was taken at 304 Rittenhouse Street, NW, Washington DC – the home of Kitty’s parents, Herbert and Elizabeth Bryant in August 1932. Stay tuned next time (no telling when that might be) for some even more adorable baby photos of my father.