|Martha had been toying with golf for several years but became serious about it at SMU in 1970. She always joked about making a hole in one, and Vera suggested the idea of showing Martha with her club making a hold in one, which she called Merry Christmas.|
|In the summer of 1971, Martha went with a group headed by Arnie Fruchtenbaum to Israel and the Mediterranean area. We thought it might be nice to picture this event on our Christmas card for 1971 and quote an Old Testament reference in Micah 5:2 and a New Testament reference in Matthew 2:6. I drew a large map of the area and posed Martha in front of it with her Bible.|
|Sometime during 1972, Vera had found an 8-piece starter Hummel creche at a bargain and bought it. We now had an object for a real “Christmassy” Christmas card. I photographed Martha behind the creche placing the angel above the stable. This time I reduced the negative to produce a vignette and black border and printed the card in one exposure through a mask, which produced the white notations. This was a low-key one.|
|In 1969, Martha acquired a worn and weathered old trunk, which she completely refurbished as a hope chest. All of the hardware, hinges, and latches were intact. So with the addition of lining materials, a little paint, and many hours of labor, the trunk looked like new. In 1973, we decided to use the trunk as the subject of the card, titling it, We’re still hoping you have a Merry Christmas. Martha is pictured with linens to go into the trunk. She still had the trunk.|
|At 24, Martha was still in the “nest.” Diligent in reading the Scriptures, she was photographed her with her Bible and a candle, which represents the light that the Scriptures gives to our life. Reference was Psalm 18:28.|
|In 1975, Tim Timmons invited Martha to come to California and write for him. Now the “nest” was empty. In order to communicate this move to family and friends, I drew an oversized map of the United States to show the location of my three girls. This was a two-shot card, Martha being vignetted in the area of the western states.|
|With the arrival of seven grandchildren, Vera and I decided to do a family tree. This was a toughy!! First of all I drew the family tree with its calligraphy with a place for each member. Then I took pictures of each member of the family and made 4” x 5” prints. These were placed on a card in their respective positions and the composite rephotographed. Kimray made a negative—card-sized—of the tree and its lettering. Then I made a mask, which kept the spillover from the photograph from going outside the leaf margins. Two exposures: one printing the tree and the other printing the half tones through the mask. Everyone thought this card was great.|
|The challenge for coming up with a new idea was increasing year by year as time went on. Putting Martha’s picture in the center of a Christmas wreath was the idea for 1977. I photographed Martha and made an enlargement, which fit properly in the center of the wreath. The wreath with Martha was then photographed against a white background, as evidenced by the shadows of the wreath on the background and on the picture of Martha. The card was produced with a projection of Martha and the wreath a contact producing the lettering. The negative had the windows of the lettering in it, which was used to expose the photographic card.|
In October of 1978, Vera experienced pain in her upper left thorax, which was diagnosed as lung cancer. In November they removed a lobe of her left lung, and while in the hospital we discussed a Christmas card. Her remark was, “I have the idea; you will have to work it out.” So the No matter how you figure, it still equals card was designed.
On the card; S = Setzer, K = Kimmell, M = Miller, H = Hill, G = Greene
The notations indicate the events (marriages and births) in the family. For example, 1 S + 1 K represented Setzer/Kimmell marriage = 2 Kimmells. When Barbara was born, the 2K + 1 K meant there were three Kimmells. The 3 K + 1 K represented the birth of Kay = 4 Kimmells, etc. The 5 Kimmells were reduced by 2 when Barbara and Kay were married, etc.
|Vera died on January 30, 1979. Martha had been married only five months, but stayed with me for two weeks after the funeral, which was very comforting. Sometime earlier, I had acquired a chunk of Vermont maple and decided to make fish imprinted with the ichthus, mounted on bases or simulated waves. The photograph of me with one fish was taken in my shop. The card was produced with one exposure through a mask producing the white notations. (Kay’s note: the card subtly told everyone that Daddy was now alone.)|