Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Family. From the archives

I don't know a great deal about my grandfather. He passed away when my mother was only 5 years old, and she was largely raised by her mother and grandmother and had a very close relationship with her aunt and uncle.

What I do know about my grandfather comes at least partially from the photographs that he took. He was an avid photographer in the 40s - mid 50s, and shot a great deal of work on Kodachrome glass plate negatives. Over the course of the past six months or so, my wife has been scanning huge numbers of these, including both family photos and a huge number of pictures that he shot while stationed in Alaska with the army doing atmospheric research. We've both spent some time cleaning them up and then sending back to my mom, who is excited to be able to have them in digital format and at a resolution high enough to print physical copies.

While the photos from Alaska are really interesting from a historical (and even artistic) perspective, it's seeing the old photos of my family that have been really wonderful for me. I really didn't even know that most of these existed, and all of a sudden hundreds of vibrant color photos from the 40s and 50s have now come into my life.

There are lots of great photos of my grandparents together, but these are two of my favorites.

Grandpa and Grandma, 1950

Grandpa in a sharp, gray double-breasted suit and grandma in a great dress

Grandpa and Grandma, 1950, part 2

Grandpa in a great early spring ensemble (I'm especially loving the gray/blue jacket) and grandma in another lovely dress

My grandparents (and especially my grandmother after my grandfather passed away) lived very modestly, but I literally couldn't find a single picture where they looked any less than great.

I can only hope to do half as well.

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