Recently I bought an 84″ solid wood bookcase and spent time unpacking boxes of my mother’s journals, memorabilia and research as well as similar items from my dad. My reason for doing this is so that I can more easily see and access these materials as I continue to archive, index and etc for better accessibility. In the closet is much, much more that is almost completely processed.
The ivy was a plant we received for Mom’s memorial service and I’m happy it’s still thriving. The butterflies were in the flowers my son gave me for mother’s day.
The book cover puzzle is Travis’ to enjoy while he recuperates from his shoulder surgery yet it has become my latest diversion. Meanwhile the items on display in my new bookcase remain a chore to be completed.
Sometime around 1984 I asked Mary if I could look at her family albums. I remember sitting beside her in her house listening intently as she told me about the people in the photos. I didn’t take notes and I remember thinking how difficult it was for me to keep track of the people especially since I wasn’t raised knowing their names or faces. That day was my first and only time to see those pictures…until Friday.
As I examined each photo Friday night, the eyes and smiles in the images reminded me of what I see each day in the mirror.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for entrusting me to borrow and take good care of these photo albums so that I can scan them and then work toward identifying them. Mary, my biological grandmother, is gone now so we’ll have to do this without her help. We’ll do our best to identify the people and collect the stories. This time I’ll take notes. Good notes.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I have some scanning to do.
Saturday we flew in to Charlotte, NC where we rented a car and drove north to Galax, VA and spent 3 days. Galax is the area that my maternal grandmother lived from the age of 7 until 16 and there are still many relatives in the area. Mom and I throughly enjoyed our visit that included hearing stories and touring the old homestead areas. By midweek we were in Richmond, VA where we spent a full day doing genealogy research in the state library. By Friday evening we were in Durham, NC where we lived from my 6th grade year through my freshman year in college. On Mother’s Day we attended Sunday School and worship service at our old church in Durham and we were blessed with great visits with old friends. Monday we flew back to Oklahoma City.
This 9 day vacation with my Mom will always be a treasure full of memories to me. Here are just a few pics from our visit in Galax:
A few weeks ago Keith borrowed some family films from his cousins to have it converted to a digital format. There is a total of 4 hours of film, one portion is from 1939 and the 8mm film is from about 1962-1966 then there is some 58mm film with sound from about 1978 & 1979. As you may have guessed by now, this week I began my task of assembling this into chronological order and eliminating the bad portions so that we can get the family together and learn who is in the footage and circumstances of the events. There is footage of Keith’s paternal grandparents, his parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. I’m excited about the outcome but the process will be laborious.
Here’s a portion featuring Keith, when he was about 2 1/2 years old, and his father while the family was stationed in the Philippines. Keith’s uncle visited them and thankfully brought his camera so we have this film today.
On Halloween Travis was not initially interested in helping give candy out to the trick or treaters but soon he changed his mind. He found an old mask in the top of his closet then Keith found an old trenchcoat. Soon a few other accessories were gathered. Each time the doorbell rang Travis sauntered to the door as he got into character to give out treats. In between trick or treaters he watched tv all ‘dressed to kill’.
Another picture I took this week is of a vintage album that has some old tin type photos in it and I’m trying to identify the family and people. It is either in a Buckner or Smith line. Read more about Esta’s Little Album on my other site.
The fisheye lens is my new toy that Keith bought me for my birthday. I’ve been reading about all the different ways to use the lens to get photos that range from looking weird to gorgeous. Some photographers believe this is the best lens because it lends itself to so much creativity. My pictures aren’t creative or gorgeous yet but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. So far I’m still trying to understand how to use it.
Bear with me as I learn about this. Here are a few shots from around my house.
Purrkins’ looks like he has a giant paw. Shhh, he thinks he really is that big and powerful.
Sitting on the floor at our front door looking into the entryway shows our ancestors greeting us as we walk into our home.
I haven’t cropped any of these so you can see how much of a big picture view you get with this lens. Depending on the angles, the result is more or less distorted looking. I’ve got to learn enough about using this lens by the time we go on our fall foliage trip next month.
It’s always amazing that we can live so close to family and somehow rarely get together. Saturday, when 2 cousins were in town, a group of us finally got together. We’ve been talking about getting together for some time and it finally happened. I had a wonderful time and sure hope there will be a next time.
There are other photos of our evening that others took of the whole group but this is one I took. It just makes me smile.
Our common ancestors: Jacob and Eva.
In the DeFries/Brown family photo album are four tintypes and I wish I knew the names & stories of the individuals in the photos. These probably date from 1856 to 1890’s so they seem appropriate for this week’s digital photography school theme of oldness. In this case oldness is very fascinating to me.
On my other blog is more information about this album and the photos: Old DeFries Photos
Several years ago my great aunt Lillian Lineberry gave me one of her decorative knick knacks. The back says Lefton China hand painted Reg U.S. Patent Office 2440. According to How to Collect Lefton China, “in 1955 the company began using the Lefton China name on all pieces, with a crown above the name, which is still used today.”
Many of the Lefton China items made in the 1950’s were whimiscal and designed purely to sit on the living room shelves, which seems to fit this piece. The violin ashtray measures 9″ x 4″ and I imagine it has only been used as a decorative piece.
Finding the right vase for a bouquet of flowers is difficult in my house. I have several vases that came with flowers that I received from a florist but they are either too short, too tall or the opening is too big or too small (sounds like Goldilocks’ plight). However, as I was dusting all the knick knack shelves I have yesterday, I realized that I have a very important vase that is fairly tall with a small opening that is a good size for the bouquet I bought Friday.
My Grandma Billings gave the vase to me and told me that it was what her coworkers gave her when she retired from the Streets department store. She said is was kind of expensive. I see no markings on it to be able to research it at all. It is pretty, sentimental and ‘just right’.