Friday, May 18, 2012

Drink Up the Family Reserve

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.

Three years.

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.


Random Michelle K said...

I love pictures like that. We need to go back through Grandmom's pictures and rescan them at a higher resolution than I did the first time.

I also thought I had a list of who was in what pictures, but haven't been able to find it.

Oh, if you decide really like your family, you can use Picaboo (or some other service) to make photo books of the pictures--which allows you to label them, make comments, etc.

David said...

The photobooks will likely be down the line. Right now the plan is to get the photos scanned in and sent out, along with an index with information and comments. I'm hoping people will write back to me and tell me more about the photos - so many of them are of people and events I know nothing about. When I've got the information, then we can look at doing books.

Katherine McKay said...

Clap! Clap! Clap!!!!! (Sound of Mom Applauding) You are a good soul and a splendid son. Love you! Mom

Michelle Hnath said...

Great picture - thanks so much for doing this!!!

Beatrice Desper said...

You are a good soul. My Mom's been trying to get me to do the same. Maybe I will...