My project of converting my family's hundreds of 35 mm. slides continues. I'm starting to think of it as family archaeology. If I could go back in time and tell them something, I'd ask them to do a bit better job on identifying each slide. Who, what, where, when, and why, people! Take the above slide. That's me with Grandpa Andrews my father's father. Almost positive it was taken at Jamestown Historical Park, in front of replicas of the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery, the ships that brought the first settlers to Jamestown. But when? How old was I? I'd guess ten or twelve, but I don't know. I can probably figure it out roughly by comparing my haircut and glasses to my school pictures. And since the family habit of never throwing things away means I have decades of family letters, I can probably get the precise date eventually, if I want to. When I was that age, my grandparents didn't necessarily visit every year, partly because flying was still a big deal, and quite expensive--well, that hasn't changed--and partly because as far as I know Grandpa was still running a working wheat and cattle ranch. So not only would there be undated photos, there would be letters talking about the trip, and they'd usually be dated,
This photo also illustrates a family photography philosophy: if you're going to spend film taking a picture, get some people in it.It was a regular feature of family vacations and visits: lining up in front of some bit of scenery. Not always a particularly beautiful piece of scenery, but these photos will be valuable in the family archaeology project. At least it answers the question "where."
Not always very completely. Grandma and Grandpa Andrews in front of a museum of some sort:
By the Pacific, I suspect.
Okay, this one we definitely know where and when!
And this isn't as lugubrious as it looks--Grandpa was taking some family on a genealogical expedition, and John was an ancestor.
Curiously, so far I have found many more photos of my Kansas relatives than my Virginia ones. Or maybe not so curiously--the Kansas ones visited rarely, so we made a point of taking photos when they were here.This one, for example, taken when not only my Kansas grandparents were visiting but also my Aunt Mae (on the left). Yes, that's me in the red coat.
And a relatively rare picture of my parents with both grandmothers--Grandma Andrews, on the far left, and Mummaw, my Hornsby grandmother, to her right. Technically Grandma Andrews was my step-grandmother, but she was the only grandmother I'd ever known on that side of the family. Dad's mother died while he was in the Army during World War II, and he almost didn't get home on leave in time for the funeral. Grandma and Grandpa married after the war, almost doubling the number of aunts and uncles and cousins available for visiting on that side of the family, which was highly satisfactory.
And an even more rare photo that includes Pawpaw, my Hornsby grandfather, on the far right. Which means this was taken sometime before his death in November 1965.
We did sometimes have fun with photography. Grandpa and Anna Mae, clowning for the camera at Colonial Williamsburg
Still, I love the occasional shot that's either candid or looks that way. Grandpa on the ranch.
Dad showing his oysters to Grandpa.
Now I'm impatient for the call from the photo shop to let me know batch 3 is ready for pickup!