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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vintage Voice: A Sweet Old Picture

I love old pictures. I always have. One of the things I enjoy collecting are vintage cabinet cards. I think I like to collect them because sometimes I feel sad when I find boxes of them in antique shops and I know that at one time they were treasured by somebody, but are now discarded, the names that belong to the faces lost to history. Taking them home with me (and some of them are even framed!), makes me feel like these people, even though long dead, have not been completely forgotten and that somebody looks at them and thinks about them, even if they didn't even know them!
I also love to look at the clothes!
I don't have many old pictures of my actual family members, but I do have a few that were given to me. This one is one of my favorites although I don't really know why. I love their 1940s shoes and the aprons the women always wore at home when working in the kitchen (I also adore vintage aprons!), but I also think it's just a sweet picture.

The woman on the right is my grandmother, Helen. She died in 1991 when I was twenty-one years old. The other woman is her sister, my great-aunt Phyllis (who is still living and has given me some beautiful heirloom antiques that once belonged to her mother-in-law). There is no date on the picture and it's not labeled in any way, but it was in a folder with other pictures of my mother as a baby, so we are assuming that the baby in the picture is my mother, who was born in 1946. My grandparents had eight children, seven of whom survived to adulthood. My mother was the second child and the eldest daughter and was a true "baby boomer", born almost exactly nine months after my grandfather returned home from World War II. I often wonder how hard it must have been back then for the wives whose husbands were away at war, when there were no computers, no cell phones, no email and letters took months to reached loved ones; and they didn't see their husbands for years at a time. My grandfather, who was in the Army when he and my grandmother married, was shipped out overseas right after Pearl Harbor. They were newlyweds, only having been married a few months, and my grandmother was also only a few weeks pregnant with their first child. Their first child was a boy and my grandfather not only missed the birth of his first child and son, but also did not get to see his son until he was two years old.

I keep the picture in this pretty frame which sits on a table in the entry hall of our house with some others. My grandfather is still living (he's the last of my grandparents left) and at 92, he's still going strong. I'm sure if he saw this picture he'd probably remember exactly the day it was taken and would probably tell me some stories about "Mother" (which is what he always called my grandma), some of which I may know already, but maybe a few which I never heard before!


susan said...

Katie-I have a "thing" for old photos too and the discarded ones always make me a little sad...of course, I make up stories and backgrounds for them :) Ask your grandad EVERY thing you can think of and let him tell his stories. You will never regret it!

Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien said...

Oh, I do! I love to hear his stories! :-)

Tina Dalgren said...

OOO- I love old photos, too! The 1930's and 1940's style and clothing and music is just so awesome! If I could live in any period of time in history, it wold be that time. I recently got a DVD with old photos of Dad's family. I have them uploaded to Shutterfly and could share them with you. Would love it if you could share your pictures of Mom's side.

Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien said...

How did you get a DVD of the pictures? I asked for a copy of that DVD also, I think....Can't remember now who put that together...but I never did get one!