Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Family History: Part 1 - The Discovery

I don't know who he is.  
I have to believe he was my mother's favorite cousin, Theral, I think was his name, or was it Vaughn?  Or perhaps it was my Grandma Florence's brother.  I love to think of him dressing in his finest clothes that day, stepping out of the log cabin (that I have seen now in other photos of him) and strolling out into the open spaces that are now surely tract homes or strip malls, to pose for this picture.

I must find out who he is.

I have given Adam the summer job of scanning negatives.  After just the first 40 or so it is clear that some cleaning will be necessary first, and then new scans done that will hopefully reveal faces and details lost under 70+ years of grime.  It is a daunting task, and I am determined not only to get them cleaned and scanned, but then to get them to the families who rightfully should have them.  My cousins, and maybe the children and grandchildren of my mother's cousins, wherever they are!

Here are some of the gems I have unearthed thus far.

 The first set of my grandmother's twins, Joanne and June.  This picture is so precious, I want to smooch their little scrubbed faces and tickle their chubby knees.  I picture my grandmother rolling their ringlets onto her finger with a little water and setting them with matching bows.

 Grandma... Florence Kofoed (later Collins and still later, Kramer).  
I don't recognize the baby.

The twins... look close to see they are holding hands... 
and my grandfather.  I try to imagine there may have been some good in him once.  

 The only way I know this is my mother is because she is posed with her ever cheerful brothers, shy Johnny and gregarious Jimmy.  I love their Halloween buckets!
Hard to imagine they have all passed on now.

I love this picture and I will tell you why.  Instead of the perfect, brushed and clean children that appear in all of the pictures I have copied so far, this is a REAL picture!  Disheveled, a little wild, looking everywhere but the camera...
those could be my children!
 (my mom, bottom left, having her knee scrutinized by baby Johnny)

 Mystery baby... isn't he (she???) beautiful...?

 Mom (top) and her sisters.  The twins were always so lovely and poised.  
Mom felt a bit like the ugly duckling.
(love the tent)

I love this picture of Grandma!  Check out those heals!  You go, girl!  
And you're rockin' those pearls and furs.   Yet all dolled up for a night on the town, it seems odd to for her to be on the lawn in the daylight.  I wish I knew where she was going.

I have to realize that when this picture was taken, she had no idea where he life would take her.  She was young and lovely and somehow bold and confident the way youth is.

I am told she was a wonderful woman.  She died when I was seven.  I like to think she and I would have been great friends if I had been born in 1910 or so.

And maybe the best one of all (so far),
 because that is something that Jonah would do, right now, today.
A baby is a baby after all, when all is said and done, though decades come and go.

And somehow that has helped the gloom lift.  The gloom that came with the box the day I opened it, and has hung on for many days since.  I know I will be sad again when the stories these pictures tell are of struggle and poverty and pain.  But I feel so driven all of a sudden, to find out as much as I can, and soon.  Thank goodness for Aunt June, who will be getting a call this week.  I know she will be able to help.

1 comment:

julean said...

I just love these old photos. Especially the ones of mom and dad. Can't wait for more!! Love you Sis!