Don't feel comfortable sending in photos of family without their consent.
Me too, especially the children, delightful though they are. I got some good ones at my niece's wedding, but the few on the internet are safely in closed groups. Instead, how about going back a generation or two to my mother's parents' wedding in 1902.
If they're looking a bit glum, it must be because they're all having to concentrate on sitting still (for reasons my grandmother's evident movement makes obvious) - I don't get the impression the photographer snapped everything and everybody in those days, so I only have these two:
This portrait of my grandmother was taken in my old flat at my mother's request. My mother had brought her back to France when it became clear that it was impossible for her to live with my parents in the United States. She was going to a retirement home (where I looked after her for 8 years) and my mother wanted a good picture of her while she was still in good shape (about age 85 in this photo).
Some of those old photos can be a bit embarrassing. My mother had one of some cousins overseas where the whole family, including some half a dozen children, all had the most peculiar expressions - I'm afraid she always referred to it as "the MD* family".
*MD="mentally deficient" - so no, I'm not going to post it here!
Wonderful photos and descriptions everyone! Patrick your family photo reminded me of myself and my younger sister at the age of the two young girls, we used to braid our hair often to get waves like they have done.
Kerouac, I wonder if your grandmother knew the reason for the photo? We recently did a family photo and my dad commented "oh you want to get one now in case we die soon". I am not sure if he believed me when I explained it was because it is very rare we are all in the same place at one time.
Sorry Bixa, I forgot to answer your question, that lovely lady is my husband's cousin. Her son lives here and she comes to visit often. She is 20 years older than my husband but they are very close. Her mother was the widow of my husband's uncle that was killed in WW2 in France.
We recently did a family photo and my dad commented "oh you want to get one now in case we die soon". I am not sure if he believed me when I explained it was because it is very rare we are all in the same place at one time.
No offence to your dad, but for a long time, having a photo taken was a relatively rare and expensive thing, or at least for a lot of people not something one did automatically. Even recently, using film was a more fiddly and occasionally involved second thoughts about "wasting" a shot. I think a lot of people retain the mindset that photos are for the major life events.
At one time that included death as well: in Victorian times, it wasn't unknown for sorrowing parents to have a photograph taken, in the full studio rig-up and best clothes, with a dead infant.
And then there were those truly creepy "ghost" photos of a living child, supposedly alone, but where the mother was actually covered in a cloth and supposedly concealed, in order to hold the child still for the photo.
A few times I have seen people taking photos, of the dead and living, at the Funeral Home. It makes me feel uncomfortable but people cope differently and again, a time when most if not all family members are together.
One of the strangest things I ever experienced at a funeral home was when the mother of a friend of mine died and I went to the visitation. I did go over and look at the open coffin, little as I like that rite (my friend wanted me to). And then I got a horrible shock. I saw her alive. My friend had never told me that her mother was an identical twin, so the living person was her aunt. It was deeply upsetting, but I tried to be poker-faced as my friend was obviously having a bad enough time to begin with.
I do get annoyed by constant picture-taking and filming. Especially if we are having dinner or somthing of that order. I don't want pictures of self eating, find it an intrusion.
Every time I look at this thread I love that sentence all over again.
My family has photos of pioneering midwestern ancestresses back in the 1800s. It's fairly obvious they didn't spend the day at the mall having makeovers before the pictures were taken.
Patrick, you & I were born the same year, but your grandparents were married in 1902. Wow. Both of my grandmothers were born in 1899, so no grandparental weddings until much later.
Kerouac, your grandmother was really pretty & had such a nice smile.
Tod, Tod, Tod, Tod, Tod ~~ And LaGatta!
Mich, maybe your dad was teasing you. Thanks for the explanation on the lovely lady. My cousin Buddy & I were quite close despite a 20 year age difference. Lovely that you all can see each other often.
LaGatta, your mistaken identity story is horribly funny!
In high school we had obligatory class pictures, but after grade 8, there were no more individual ones. Only for the graduating class for the school yearbook and I think we could supply our own pictures.
Once World War II had broken out, many parents decided that northeastern France was not a suitable place for their children to stay, so my mother was sent -- against her will of course -- to a boarding school in the town of Saulieu, which is about 35 kilometres west of Dijon. There were no military targets there, and Nazi soldiers were not marching through the streets. There were just two girls in the school who were complete outsiders -- my mother, who was called "la Boche" (the Kraut) because she came from Lorraine, which the girls thought was "as bad" as Alsace, and an Antillean girl from Martinique, who also had a nickname concerning her ethnic origins which I don't need to tell you. She and my mother became best friends with just one other girl who wasn't as narrow minded as the other local girls. My grandmother would apparently make the perilous trip to visit my mother at least once a month, and my mother would cry her eyes out (and I'm sure my grandmother did, too, but perhaps not in front of her daughter). After about a year, she escaped from the school (which was apparently run just like those awful places we have seen in the movies where the bad girls are sent in Ireland) with the assistance of the kitchen scullion. She travelled all alone across occupied France at age 17 to find her parents again, who didn't send her back in the face of her determination.
As late as the 1980's I heard my mother still arguing with my grandmother about this place. "I hated that place! It was horrible!" My grandmother would snap back "We sent you there for your own good, so that you would be safe!" I had to dive in several times to change the subject, because it was clear that more than 40 years later, they were never going to agree about this boarding school. My parents actually went through Saulieu in the 1970's, and the boarding school was still there and apparently looked quite nice. Anyway, my mother is sitting on the left in these photos.
Kerouac, thank you for sharing these photos and the story of your mother's experience. For someone like me, born after the war it seems so long ago, but it really was almost just like the other day, isn't it.
When the war started we had a batch of evacuees from London come to our village in East Kent to escape the feared bombing and gassing of London. however when the Germans invaded the Low Countries and Northern France they soon disappeared. Then some of the village residents left for safer areas, but most like us stayed put. The village was bombed and there was a bomb in the back garden of the houses on either side of my grandmother so she went to live with her eldest daughter in the Midlands. We were fully prepared for a German invasion and I remember being told that "When the Germans come you boys are to put sugar in their petrol tanks".
A very exciting time for young boys and I still have strong memories of those days. Little wonder that German domination of the EU doesn't fill me with joy.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
What a story! I just finished reading the second book in the Century of Giants trilogy, which touches a good bit on the occupation in France. That makes your mother's amazing & harrowing trip even more immediate to me.
As adults, it's easy to understand your grandparents' determination to shield their child from danger & obviously the boarding school was better than many plausible alternatives had they kept her home.
Note that in the picture with the tennis rackets, the girls are wearing the same shoes as in the other photo. Wartime rationing &/or austerity?
That must have been a very scary journey for your mother K2 and how awful for her parents to realise how terrible it had been for her.
My mother was evacuated from Manchester ( to somewhere in rural Cheshire I think but I am not sure exactly where) She was just over 6 years and years later she could still remember the trauma and confusion. However, she was only there a few days as my Grandad decided that it was better for them all to be together and he brought her home. They were all fine. I can imagine that as parents those decisions must have been heart wrenching either way.
Anyway ... here is a pic of my Mum with my Dad taken around 1956 somewhere in North Cornwall. They were keen surfers and used to ride a motorbike down from Manchester( with the surfboard- only one between them), a journey that took around 12 hours minimum at that time. They had that surfboard for many decades , although it fell out of use, just a wooden board with a curved lip at the front.