Donna Darling Collection – Part 75

Russell Erwin Amsterdam

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

I was conflicted about if this should be a typical Treasure Chest Thursday where I’m looking at items from the Donna Darling Collection, or if it should be a Photo Friday. I decided on looking at seven photos of my uncle Russ from the perspective of items from the Donna Darling Collection.


Russell was born in August 1927. In the first photo I have of him, he is in a baby carriage. His dress suggests it was summer, so I figure this photo is from the summer of 1928.

With the Twins – ca. 1929

Russell in some sort of sailor suit with two young men, who appear to be twins to me. Russell seems to have a little less stable, so I suspect it is from when he was around two.

At the Beach – ca. 1930

Next are two photos of Russell at the Beach. I vacillate between thinking he is 2 or 3 in the pictures. He seems sturdy on his feet in the photo with him and two boys, so I think three is more likely. Another shot of him with his dad, Sammy, was clearly taken on the same day and Russell looks larger than a two-year-old.

Russell and his father, Sammy

Russell & two (unknown) boys.

Indian Headdress – ca. 1930

Next is an adorable photo of Russell in an Indian costume, including a headdress. Donna and Sammy went on their National Tour with “Princess Winona,” a Native American.

On the Ship – 1930

Finally, there are two photos of Russell on a ship. I believe this was from 1930 when Sammy, Donna, and Russell traveled to Panama for work. The first one is of the three of them, while the second one is of Russell looking away.

Russell aboard ship with his father & mother, ca. 1930.

Uncle Russ aboard ship, age 3, ca 1930.

I really miss Uncle Russ, he is the only biological uncle of mine I ever met and I really liked him.  In later years, he and my mother became best friends and cruised together. They took an Alaska coastal cruise and a Mississippi riverboat cruise together. I know my mom found them greatly enjoyable. (I never met any of my biological father’s siblings.)

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