Lionel Kearns in tub 1938 Ah yes, the well boiled baby with the big smile, happy to be alive and in good hands. He will eventually be known as Lionel John Kearns, but that will take a few more years. At this moment he is certain that his name is Tenny. The tub has a chipped pale green enamel exterior, and sits on stand in the kitchen of a house on the corner of Second and Anderson Streets, in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.

There is some evidence that this photograph was taken Feb.16, 1938, on the boy's first birthday. The cameraman is Frank, the boy's father, also known as Charles Francis Kearns. In print Frank appears as C.F.Kearns, C.F.Kay, or Francis Brennan, the prolific author of short stories, novellas, and articles on hunting, fishing, and the outdoor life. Frank has been a teamster, an accountant, a pilot in the Great War, a logger, a provincial policeman, and at this point in the story, he is an inspector in the B.C. Game Department, the government service that managed wildlife conservation in the province.

The boy's mother is present here as well, although she offers support without intruding directly into the picture. Her strong and steady arm enters stage left. She is Dot, or Dorry, or Dorothy Welch, or Dorothy Kearns after her marriage to Frank. She is a colorful and forthright personality, and plays a leading role in the boy's life.

One of the more interesting features of this photograph is the print tacked up on the wall above the boy's head. If you look carefully you will just make out the image of C.F.Kearns leading a train of pack horses across a swollen river in the Rocky Mountains. That was the kind of thing he did. For a better look at what is going on, give it a click.