It’s been three years since I brought the family photographs back to Wisconsin with me.
My brother had gone through the innumerable shoeboxes, envelopes, and random scattered albums and sorted them all into seven organized, acid-free albums (and a vast pile of extra photographs that for one reason or another didn’t make the grade). My mission was to take these new albums – and whatever else of the five big plastic storage boxes’ worth of photographs I could – and scan them. Then I could make copies and distribute them throughout the family so that everyone could have a set.
Eventually the originals are supposed to go back to my parents, a proposition which raises a number of logistical questions. But that is a crisis for another day.
It’s been a long three years, full of the usual ups and downs and the frantic activity level of the employed and the parents everywhere. But this week I have decided that I am going to get this project done this summer. And now I am finished the first two albums.
That sound you heard was my mother applauding. Hi Mom!
I am built for this sort of project. It’s exactly the kind of painstaking, detailed archival work for which I eventually got my doctorate, and it’s all about family photos – people I knew, at one point in my life, or at least had heard of. Mostly. It must be said that there are a lot of people in these pictures that I have to take on credit are somehow related to me.
I think I will post pictures here, now and then, because they’re interesting and because I can.
This one is from 1952.
That’s my grandfather, seated in front. He’s younger in that picture than I am now, by more than a hand’s count of years. I have no idea where this was taken or what – if anything – the occasion was, but I really like this photograph. It is a side of my grandfather I never saw in life.
He was a patient man – which, if you knew my grandmother’s sisters, you’d understand – and not given to excess in anything that I was aware of. Like all of the family members I have met, he was not much of a drinker. As a group we’re not tea-totallers, but there are liquor bottles in my parents’ house that are older than I am. We take our time.
Cheers, Pop. This one’s for you.