Friday, June 30, 2017

A New Favorite Picture

After scanning some more pictures that my grandparents found, I have finally been able to spend some time organizing and processing some of them. For processing, I mostly just straighten them up, crop off the borders and adjust the contrast a bit to account for many years of degrading in a box. This has to be my favorite of them all.

The blurry fellow on the left who evidently couldn't sit still for the picture is my grandfather, the same one that just moved up from Florida into a retirement facility here in town. Guessing that he might be ten or so at the time of this picture, that would place it sometime in the late 1930's. Going clockwise, the next fellow is my great uncle (grandpa's brother) who died a few years ago and whom I have written about on this blog quite often. Next to him is my second great grandmother who owned the watch that I recently blogged about after remarrying her husband for the second time. She is also the painter of a picture that now adorns the wall above our piano and is of her family's journey to America and shipwreck off the coast of Maine in the 1700's. The family survived the shipwreck and thus I exist, one of many close calls found in my family tree.

Next to her is my great grandmother who lived long enough that I have many many great memories of her. She taught me how to gamble among other things. Her husband sits at the far end of the table and is my great grandfather. Although I have memories of him as well, they are all after his stroke robbed him of his ability to walk and talk. My memories of him are mostly of the nursing home and the green gumdrops that he loved to eat.

The next lady is my great grandfather's sister and is someone who is shrouded in the mysteries that my grandparents seem to weave. My grandparents aren't trying to lie but they don't always get the facts right with their stories. In fact, they are often flat out wrong. She died three years after my great grandfather but I have no memories of her. According to my grandparents, she remarried five times (said with great disdain) though I can only find records of three. I think from the pictures and records I have seen, she left home at an early age to live, marry (at least three times) and die out west away from the rest of the family and this rubbed some in the family the wrong way. I have written about her traveling as a single lady by ship to distant shores so she must have been an adventurous sort, which also clashes with many of my conservative family.

Next to her is husband number two according to my records. Next to him is my 2nd great grandfather who was the son of my immigrant ancestor on this line in my family tree. His father came from Germany and learned the leather goods trade and was at one point, a rival to Ulysses Grant in the same trade and same town for a number of years. He had a large family here in the states but an epidemic would take five of his children and his wife in the space of three months just leaving behind my 2nd great grandfather and one brother, yet another brush of my existence in my family tree.

I love this picture because it has three generations of my ancestors all in one spot and clearly shows them in prosperous happy times. It is also special because my link to this picture is still alive and living across town which gives it a deeper connection to me than it otherwise would. It will be a picture that I treasure and hope to pass on to my grandkids someday providing them with a personal link to it as well.


Kelly said...

Do you know who was taking the photo?

I can see why you like this photo. It's a happy looking group and it's so nice that you know who everyone is! Write it all down! Thankfully, I had my mother's sister sit with me once and identify as many folks as she could in the photo album I have of their family. I've stuck that in a pocket in the front of the album for reference.

Leigh said...

It's wonderful that so many family photos were kept, and that you know so many of the folks in them. I remember my grandparents had a photo album, and someone finally suggested that my grandmother label them all so we'd know who they were. My aunt got that album but I got quite a few copies from her. Now everything is digital, but the way the technology changes, I wonder if much will be left 100 years from now.