Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Family Archives

My friend John (who I hope is dry, warm, and not snowed under) commented, "I'm also impressed that you've saved the photos. You must be the family curator."
My parents will get a big kick out of that. My father was an only child and my mother had one sister, so in addition to all the pictures they took, they inherited all the photos from my grandparents, and several of their siblings. The Family Archives are considerable, especially from Mom's side. Hundreds and hundreds of photo- graphs are carefully arranged into... piles. And a few boxes. And a lot of envelopes. There are pictures 4+ generations back: we don't even know who they are. Heck, we don't even know for sure that they're relatives! There are so many photographs that every time my folks start to organize them, they get completely overwhelmed. (A lesson here: don't do this to your children.) (And mark the back of pictures: you will not remember the date, or which baby it was.)

My mom wrote a little volume of family memories several years ago, and I scanned some pictures to add to her book. Over the years, I've scanned quite a few, but most of the pictures I use here were scanned by my brothers. Bro #2 scanned a bunch several years ago for a beautiful PowerPoint slide show that he showed at my parents' 50th anniversary party. And Bro #1 has made an effort to take home and scan several handfuls of pics each time he visits. Still, it's like emptying the ocean with a teaspoon.

The recent popularity of scrapbooking is brilliant. Several of the Supergirls scrapbook. SG1, in particular, has made incredible books about high school, her friends, her considerable travels. I don't know if they have any idea how much they will cherish the books years from now. And they are so much prettier, and better organized, and easier to store, than boxes, envelopes, and piles.

PHOTOS, top to bottom. 1) Grandma Sophie (center, legs crossed) with her large family, including Queen Fanny (far right). 2) Flapper & Dapper: Grandma Sophie & Grandpa Harold on their honeymoon, (1927). 3) Mom (left) her sister Carol (right) and their adored cousin, Rhea. 4) Mom (far right) in a posed picture for the newspaper, announcing mom as the winner of a national Singer sewing contest. I still have the dress! It has a side zipper, matching stripes, bound buttonholes, and is a size minus-nothing.

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