I just went through all ten pages of this thread to make sure I had not already posted the upcoming photo. It is a really moving experience to get glimpses into the lives of so many of you.
Anyway, today I came across a major trove of photos (I cannot call it a treasure trove) that I had not seen for years. I started sorting them out and even throwing away some of them (as I finally learned to do with difficulty). And I also got out a big envelope to put the photos that I saved -- to send to my brother. Not having any descendence, I don't want the family history to die with me. My brother has two children and three grandchildren at the moment, so that is where the photos need to go. IN any case, I spent more than ten euros in postage for this first set of the archives. There are so many more things left.
Among the photos that I sent were these. The first one is of our stepfather's mother. This is the one and only photo that I have ever seen of her. Obviously, my brother and I are not at all attached to her since she died about 20 years before our parents even met. But I think that she is part of the family story, too. She is buried somewhere in Texas, no idea where. I think she looks like one of those tough frontier women that you could see in certain movies. ("I don't want my son to be a gunfighter!")
This photo is interesting because it wasn't taken in a studio but in my great grandparents' home. However, the photo is so bright that the photographer must have used a giant flash. My grandmother is on the far right. The other two young women would be the eldest sister Ernestine and the younger sister Lucienne. Perhaps the younger children were not born yet, but it is more likely that they had been put to bed or taken out of the room since they could not pretend to be a statue for 15 seconds. I would say the photo dates from about 1914, perhaps just before the war began. I don't think they worried about photos for several years during the conflict.
The bearded man is my mother's other grandfather -- not her favourite one, but she liked him, too. He just died sooner. As for my great grandmother, I actually knew her, because she did not die until 1965 at the age of 91. She would not get undressed in front of the television so that the people in the box could not see her.
I cannot deny that there is a certain family resemblance. In the 1970's I encountered two people whom I had never met -- one on a bus in Metz and one in a café in the suburbs of Paris next to where my great aunt used to live who said to me "You must be the grandson of Madame Hottier. You look exactly like your mother."
The first photo is a high school teacher photo from about 1965. The second photo is probably from about the same time. The last photo is the senior yearbook photo from 1969.
I have been sorting through all sorts of family photos this past week -- and throwing so many of them away. Actually, the ones that I am going through are my parents' collection. They never threw anything away (film was expensive!) no matter how bad the photo was. And there were huge collections of photos of the new house, the rooms, the furniture, the back yard -- no interest whatsoever, especially for houses that were only owned for perhaps 3 years 40 years ago. Lots of bad birthday cakes with people blowing on candles. My parents or brother posing with people of whose identity I have no idea. Long dead pets. Christmas trees. My grandmother and her friends from the retirement home. When I first decided that it was necessary to dispose of certain photographs, it was extremely difficult, but it is getting easier and easier.
I am still keeping 10 times more photos than I should, but I will continue culling as the years go by.
Does your brother have any interest in these photos? As you cull, make a pile for him, and mail em to him. He can toss them if he likes, but might enjoy seeing them. Is he older or younger? The 3 years in a particular house might have had more impact on him than you because of his age.
I already mailed two big envelopes of photos to him, but less for him than for one of my nephews who actually seems to have an interest in the family history. Quite a few of the photos are actually ones that he gave to my parents over the years, so I know he doesn't need more of them. I did feel a bit strange, though, when I threw away all of his wedding photos for wife #1. I did keep a few photos where she appears since she is the mother of his children, but only in family groups, never just her or her and my brother. Those went in the trash.
Here is my rogues gallery. When I was at work we had an excellent photocopier so one day I took my kids old school photos in and had these enlargements made. Got them framed and hung on the bedroom wall for my wife's benefit
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
Kerouac, you are so lucky to have so many old family pictures. I very much like the picture of your step-grandmother, with her clear brow and pleasantly alert expression. Love your fashionable young grandmother, too.
That's a wonderful gallery, Mossie. What lovely, intelligent children!