Monday, January 4, 2016

a boatload of photos

 The little girl in the lower left corner....my grandfather ran away with her to see the circus.
Great-great aunt Irene.
 My grandfather, his sister, his mother, and his uncle Pete.
My great aunt Edna, her sisters standing behind her.

Many years ago, my grandfather gave me a box of old photographs. We made a scrapbook together as he told me stories of the people in each photo. He told me about life back when he was young. No one had phones or cars or indoor plumbing. But someone always had a camera.

Last weekend I bought a new scrapbook and a package of corners and I dived into that boatload of photos, determined to make a bigger and better book. This was going to be a book he would have been proud of.

I sat at my kitchen table and arranged photos on the pages, thankful for the fact that he wrote on many of the photos. He wrote on the FRONT of the photos. Bless his heart. 

The stories he had told me came alive. I began to recognize faces in the many photos I spread on the tabletop. There were faces of the people who raised me. There were faces of people I never met.
And each photo was a tiny piece of their lives, preserved forever.

For a moment, my grandfather was with me again, looking at those old photos and telling the stories he loved.

 “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
— Aaron Siskind

12 comments:

  1. And I bet you anything he is still smiling at what you've put together there.
    What a sweetheart of a man. Quite an endearing story; I loved it.
    I never met my grandfathers. It must have been so special working on a scrapbook together! :)

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    1. He was quite a character. Loved the outdoors....fishing, hunting. I treasure the time we spent together and all the things he taught me.
      x

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  2. I adore "old photos" - I buy them up in antique stores - it's like adopting/rescuing a friend or family... I use them in artwork to highlight and preserve the beautiful people, places and era, etc. It's hard to explain the tinge of sadness I feel when I see all the beautiful vintage photos for sale in stores or on ETSY! Anyway, you got me going! lol. I adore your personal family photos. You have a treasure there! I'm so glad you shared them.

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    1. That is a great way to repurpose old photos! These old photos almost have a life of their own....they say so much more than words ever could. I love that you "rescue" them!
      I collect cabinet cards and when I showed my collection to my grandfather he pulled out all the old family photos and handed them to me!

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  3. yeah. i wish we still did this, snapping "real" photos, writing on them, mounting them with "corners"....
    as a matter of fact, i WANT to do this!!

    the fashions back then. they were the best. those dresses, and the giant bows in girls' hair....and the boys and men all looked so fine....

    thanks so much for the sharing and for the inspiration!!

    xx

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    1. Photography, back in the day, was a BIG DEAL. I love that everyone got dressed up and made a real event of it.

      And yes, DO start a scrapbook of your family photos! There is something almost holy about handling the old photos, placing them in a scrapbook with "corners". I'll be looking forward to your Mamie gracing the pages....
      xx

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  4. What a treasure, Julie. I love that you're taking the time to honor these photos by putting them in an album. It's a lovely tribute to your grandfather and something to pass on to future generations so they will have a history of their past.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. There's alot to be said for preserving our ancestry. I love the fact that I was able to do this.

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  5. Thank goodness for people who take photographs. I know that my family always complains when I want to take photos but I've learned just to ignore them. The reality is that I have so many beautiful memories that I would've forgotten about had I not taken a photo of them. My sister wouldn't have more than a handful of photos of her kids if I hadn't taken photos of them thru the years. Thank you for sharing these memories with us. They are priceless!! xoxo

    ~ Wendy

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    1. Thank goodness for cameras! Where would we be without them?
      My husband groans and rolls his eyes when I take family photos but I know he enjoys having those photos to look at years later!
      xx

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  6. beautiful quote to go with your wonderful treasures!

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    1. Thanks, Deb. The photos really are a treasure!
      x

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