Wednesday, July 31, 2013

To Catch a Thief

I’m deep into my photo scanning project now, since it is neither required nor remunerative and therefore a nice break from reality.

You need projects like that.

Other men need power tools for their projects.  They go to hardware stores or auto dealerships.  They buy things that promise to remove grease from clothes and add it to bits of rotating metal.  Somehow that gene never came down to me.  My projects end up involving documents, stories, and images.

I rather like them that way.

The problem with projects like this, however, is that they often reach back fairly far in time.  Far enough, in fact, that the people who were there are no longer here and are not therefore in a position to explain what was happening in certain situations.

Such as this one:

That’s my great-grandmother there, standing in the field.  And that’s her son-in-law, my grandfather, sneaking up behind her and – from all appearances – about to snatch her purse.

There were a half dozen photos taken that day, out in the grass.  My grandparents, my great-grandmother, my grandmother’s sister Sarah and her family, and one man I cannot identify (possibly a brother of my grandmother – I’ll have to ask my mother) were out at some kind of picnic. 

I think it’s 1939 in this picture.  My grandmother is not notably pregnant in the ones she’s in, which she would have been in 1940, and she has no children with her as she would have afterward.

My grandfather had a pretty good sense of humor, one that he needed very much in order to deal with my grandmother’s side of the family – good people, but often exhausting.  It’s fun to see it here, in these old pictures.

I wonder if he got away with the purse.

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