Boyhood Friends


Left to right: Fred Skinner, Courtney Bryant, Ray Elliott, Bob Gross, Frank Ireland, Ray Williams, Louis Juliand

 

I came across this photo the other day and was pleased to see it. I had heard of Ray Elliott because he lived on Genesee Street next to the bridge, across Monell Street from the Rosses before I came to Greene. He and my future mother-in-law (Gussie Ross) were in competition to see who made the best lemon meringue pie. I think Mr. Elliott  won because Copper, the Rosses’ Irish Setter, licked the meringue off of theirs but didn’t eat the rest.  Raymond Williams told many stories to Mildred Folsom who included them in her two history books of Greene. He had a phenomenal memory of  happenings in Greene from days past and that skill was carried on by his two daughters, Jane Kelly and Elizabeth Stavely, who have shared their remembrances and treasured items from Greene with the Historical Society. For example, they sent the horse blanket that their grandfather, Dr. George O. Williams, used when he went on home visits around the area. Sadly, Jane Kelly died October 29th in Broomfield, Colorado. She has left Greene with a wealth of written material as well as artifacts in the museum.

I sent this photo to her sister, Elizabeth Stavely and this was her reply: “Your note with the picture of my father and his boyhood friends came today and I’m delighted to have it. As I remember it was at somebody’s birthday. Dad took the picture, setting his camera on a tripod and setting it to go off after he joined the group. One of the men, probably Fred Skinner, made a comment that Dad had arranged to make himself look younger than the others.”

Greene owes the Williams family a debt of gratitude for all their contributions: medical, photographic, storystelling, artistic.  Ray’s sister, Mary, was a fine artist and many of her drawings are in the Museum. Perhaps the greatest contribution has been their continuous interest in Greene from its early years.