Photo Stories

– Kathryn Birkhead

Kathryn Birkhead

on Carter Street in Springdale

My father (Raymond Lankford, far left, wearing a sweater) was born on Carter Street, just east of where Lee School is now. This picture is probably from 1937 or 1938, when he was 16 or 17, and I believe it is at my great aunt’s house on Carter Street, just down from where he was born. Like lots of families in the 30’s, his family had a very hard time when he was young, and he and his brothers spent time in an orphanage in Monticello. He ended up going out to California to live with an aunt and uncle when he was in his early teens. They are the couple on the right, and their children are just to the left to them in the picture. The oldest woman is his grandmother. The woman who is seated closest to him is Mary Miller, his aunt. She was a school teacher here in Springdale and was very special to him. After he was wounded on Iwo Jima in World War II, he went to live with her and her husband following his release from the hospital. It was at her house that he met my mother in October, 1945.