Found Photos: Boats & Benches

Welcome to the FIRST post of my found photos series! As I said in the introduction here, I collect photos that I find at antique stores or elsewhere to keep them special. As a lover of all things photography, I hate to think that the memory of a moment that was once thought special enough to capture, goes as something insignificant or forgotten. Now that I have quite a few photos in my collection, I thought I would begin to share them on my blog as a way to keep those moments alive, and maybe bring about thought and discussion on maybe who the people are and what they were doing! ♥

The following photos I purchased at Antique Emporium of Alma (in Kansas). There were a bunch of studio photos there from the early 1900s but this collection of candids caught my eye. I believe they depict a group of eight friends (maybe four couples) having what looks like an enjoyable day.

Based on the slightly edwardion fashion of these women, I would presume these were taken sometime between 1903 and 1907.

Although I’m sure the picture taker of this photo was disappointed that it was blurry, I think it give it character. Makes the story behind it a bit more mystical.

Then the picture taker handed the camera over to the other boat containing their other four friends. Even though their hand was a bit more steady, their eye was not as keen!

Do you think this photo was taken after they did their boat rides? They relaxed after rowing and told stories? OR do you think this photo was the first of the five? Maybe while sitting in this field they came up with the idea of taking boats out onto the water.

Sometimes I get lucky, and someone has written names or events, even places, on the back of the photos I “find.” These ones do not have any story or character names written on them, leaving it up to my imagination!

What do you think of this group and their day of adventure?


Found Photos

I do not think it would come as a surprise to anyone that I am a lover of photography and photographs. If you took a look around my home, you would see so many framed photos, albums, and even a few boxes full of family photographs. I like being surrounded by the friendly faces of the people whom I love. Especially now that we live so far from our family, it’s nice to have a reminder of home.

This year I took my passion of printed photographs to a new level and began collecting vintage ones. It may be considered a weird hobby, to collect photographs of people you never knew, and to actually pay money to poses these photos. I have my reasons.

Even some fifteen years ago, before everyone had a digital camera and/or one on their cell phone, there was film. Film which then got transposed as a print. You did not know instantly if the picture turned out, if the flash had gone off just right, or even if somehow your finger had made its’ way in front of the view finder. Every single image was printed out, whether it was good or not.

With film, I think we really waited for those special moments. We didn’t take pictures of our food before eating it. We weren’t able to take a mirror selfie to confirm or deny if we should purchase a particular outfit from whatever department store. We were not able to take photographs as easily and slyly of those people of Wal-mart. Film exposures were saved for the more important times, times you most certainly did not want to forget. Photographs were keepsakes.

I think I wanted to start collecting photographs to preserve the memories that have now been forgotten and lost. Those photographs meant something to someone at one time. They posed for the photograph and paid for it. It was a family get together, a graduation, meeting a celebrity, whatever it may be, those photos were taken for a reason. They were special to the person who took it and/or the person in it.

Not to say that selfies or food pictures aren’t special. They can be too, in their own way.

I started to collect photos to keep these memories special. I may not always know what exactly is happening in the photo, but I like to wonder.

To keep myself as an active blogger and to share my love of these photos, I thought it would be fun to start a series of my vintage photo collection. Every Friday I’m going to share a photo from my collection, or multiple photos if they are in a series or from a particular event!

Keeping the memories alive!

I will also start sharing more of my family photos soon! You can see my old family photo series in their collection here.

Meet My Family ♥ Aunt Carolen & Uncle Al

Back in January I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and it made my love and appreciation for photography grow even more! Ransom Riggs integrated old photographs that had been found in flea markets, garage sales, etc, into his story to bring their stories back to life (more or less, give them a completely new one). So, I started this “Meet My Family through Old Photographs” series (You can see the collection here), telling my own family’s story and sharing with you old photographs I adore, and with that, the people I love.

Today, I want to share with you photographs of my Aunt Carolen and Uncle Al. I do not know where to begin, to tell you how much they meant to me. I gave both of their eulogy’s, and I can honestly say it was not an easy feat. They lived such incredible lives, did so many things, went so many places, touched the lives of so many people. To me, these two people were MAGIC. I do not know how to sum it up in any other way. They loved each other and everyone around them in such a unique and wonderful way. They were fun loving, adventurous, caring, and jacks of all trades. From baseball teams to traveling around the globe to building a fun business of their own; they did it all, and they did it all together. They are very missed, very loved, and forever hold a special place in many hearts.

Aunt Carolen at 14 months old

Years later, possibly in the same photobooth?

Uncle Al served in the Navy

One of my favorite photos ever simply because on the back, my Uncle Al wrote “Just me & my beard”

They met through Aunt Carolen’s roommate and friend

They got married in 1963

They LOVED to travel & they always brought back the coolest souvenirs for EVERYONE

They loved Halloween, but Christmas was Aunt Carolen’s favorite

Uncle Al had quite the collection of bolo ties

Nothing went unphotographed or not videotaped, they had one or the other (or both) always!

Their backyard was home to many family get togethers, pool parties, and BBQs (all one in the same)

This is how I will always remember them. (That weird faced kid in the middle is me – surprised?)

“Moon River” was their song & it fit perfectly – “Two drifters off to see the world”

Taken at their 40th Wedding Anniversary party

I never really know how to end these posts. I will let you know that they passed in a matter of months of each other. They were lovely people, and I hope more than anything they are together again, laughing and traveling about.

Meet My Family ♥ Maternal Grandparents

Hello everybody!

Today, as apart of my Meet My Family Series (you can see a collection of the posts so far here), I would like to introduce you to my grandma and grandpa on my mother’s side! The first five years of my life, my grandparents lived in a house on the same property as my parents’ home. When my parents and I moved, my grandparents would watch me after school or on holidays. When my grandfather passed away, my grandma came to live with us. Needless to say, my grandparents were a huge part of my life! They were incredible and very loving people! I truly miss them every single day.

My grandma in December 1919

My grandpa in 1939

My Grandpa was dating one of my Grandma’s friends, and that’s actually how they met. For whatever reason, the three of them went to a movie together, and my grandpa sat in between them. From what I’ve heard, he liked that my grandma did not smoke, and her friend did (amongst other reasons – I’m sure!), so he then began to date my grandma instead!

My grandfather would borrow his boss’s car to take my grandma out on dates. That’s a 1939 Super Charger! I cannot remember the story behind this photo, but I’m almost sure it was taken by a cop. There’s another photo of my grandpa on the cop’s motorcycle. I thought I had it, but I cannot find it on my laptop!

They dated for three years before they got married. My grandpa was 23 and my grandma was 20.

Together they had four children. They had two boys and two girls, the youngest being my mother.

They moved around A LOT! Eventually they stuck to the Northern California area.

My sister & I were lucky because they were always close by when we were growing up.

They still enjoyed traveling a lot! They would often visit Missouri to see my uncle (the oldest of their four children) who lives in Missouri. Those, are his and his aunt’s bikes!

This is one of my absolute favorite photos of them, and how I will always remember them. They were very religious people, and this was actually taken for their church.

This picture was what got me an A+ in my first college photography class. I do not remember taking it, and I’m almost sure I probably took it by accident. My photography teacher LOVED it because it shows her and my grandfather when they were younger as well as the clock. It makes me smile because she has that stuffed animal that is a cow. My grandma always told me of a cow they had named Nelly when my mom was growing up. It also makes me smile because my grandma was always chilly, and had on a sweater and blankets all year round for the most part. It breaks my heart in many ways, though, because I wish more than anything she was smiling or laughing. My grandma, even on the days where she missed my grandpa and her arthritis was bothering her a lot, she was always looking on the bright side.

Myself, my grandma, my mother, and my sister. Three generations in one photo. This was taken almost a year before my grandma passed. She survived my grandpa by 12 years, and she missed him terribly.

It’s been almost four years since she left us, and I still get days where I cannot help but cry because I miss her so much. It’s hard to put to words, for me. She had a way of making you feel so loved, so cared for, and she even made you feel protected even when she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and needed to be cared for herself. She had the biggest heart I have ever known. She did not need to know your full story to give you the benefit of the doubt. She did not need to see your face to think you were beautiful. She loved to just sit with you, hear what you had to say, and tell you stories of her own.

As much as I miss them, I am so glad they are together again. That’s where they wanted to be. ♥

Meet My Family ♥ Paternal Grandparents

After reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs my love of photography and all things related has grown even more. I am a lover of photographs, and especially of those that had captured people whom I love.

So I started this “series” of old family photographs (Introduction post here). It’s funny, I thought this would be easy to do because it’s just photos and me telling a little bit of the story behind them. Going through the large amount of photos I have, I find myself in tears. These are not just photos I love, but also people I love, and memories I love. Some, and sadly most of the people in this particular set, are of people who are no longer here.

Today, I’m sharing a few photos of my paternal grandparents, my Grandmother and my Grandfather from my Dad’s side. My grandma died when I was only a month old and my grandpa passed away when I was three. As much as I try and want to remember, I have no memory of them. Looking through photos of them, I see the family resemblances that cannot be denied. Something about them, the camera did not just capture their smiles, but it captured their personalities too.

My grandparents met at a city dance in Oklahoma in the 1930s. When they got married, my grandfather was 20 and my grandmother was 17. Their first child, my aunt, was born when my grandma was only 18.

Since there were no jobs, my grandpa moved to the Los Angeles area and worked until he could send money to my grandma. She drove out to California to join him. They soon had another baby girl.

They moved up north and my grandpa built their new home. They had three more children, three boys, my uncles and my dad was the youngest (pictured in the front).

I have a weakness for photobooth photos. The photos they took are some of the cutest I’ve ever seen.

My grandfather was nicknamed Popeye after his extremely large forearms. He even had the anchor tattoo to match.

I only know that it’s my grandma and grandpa in this photo, and nothing else. I’ve always been drawn to it, though. The fact that it’s blurry makes me curious. I wonder if the person taking the photo tried to snap it quickly, but my grandpa caught them with the camera. OR maybe my grandpa is saying “Hey! Look out!”

Taken at my aunt and uncle’s wedding in 1963.

Cutest couple in a photobooth EVER award goes to…

Think what you will, but I think my grandma was FLAWLESS.

My grandpa lost the tips to two of his fingers when they were ran over by a train (I have not heard the whole story behind this yet).

Taken on a trip to Oklahoma in 1967

I almost missed the person napping on the swing behind my grandpa. I think that is my great-grandma, his mother-in-law.

The whole family! My dad, once the smallest, towered over everyone there in the back. This one was taken on October 20th 1974.

Drinking wine together on their anniversary, early 1980s

I cannot begin to explain how difficult it was to narrow this post down to fifteen images! When I look at these photographs I see where I got my sassy sense of humor, that’s for sure. My heart breaks that I never got to know them, but I am so glad that I have so many photos to remember them by.

Old Photographs ♥ Meet My Family

I have always taken great comfort in photographs. The first five years of my life I lived on a property where my parents house was on the street, and tucked in the back was a house where my grandparents (my mother’s parents) lived. During the day my parents would work and I would spend that time at my grandparents’ home. My grandmother was a LOVER of photographs, cameras, and all things of the sort and I truly believe that carried on to me.

My grandma always told me a story of how I knew her as a baby because of her love of photographs. My grandparents were also big fans of traveling. When I was still a newborn, I had spent a lot of time with my grandparents, but they left for a few months on a trip. When they returned, my grandmother took me from my mother and I cried and cried. She took me back to their home and stood with me in front of her wall of photo frames. She said I looked at her and smiled like I was saying, “Oh! I remember you now.” And so the magic and love of photographs began.

The only semi-decent photo I could find of the picture wall
My grandpa reading to me, June 2nd 1989.

My grandmother had three HUGE photo albums she kept in a chest of drawers in her bedroom. I am pretty sure that practically everyday I was at their home, I spent many hours going through those albums. One was red and one was blue, those two were the kind that had the clear sheet over the sticky pages. One was brown leather with black sheets that you had to paste the photos to the pages; that one was the oldest. They say kids think they remember their childhood because they’re often told stories about it, but they do not actually remember the events. I think that I DO have such strong memories from my childhood because I could look at the photographs of me (and my grandma took A LOT) and reflect on what happened during those times while they were still so fresh in my memory.

I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and it gave me a whole new appreciation for old photographs. He tells a beautiful and eerie story and works in old photographs that had been FOUND by collectors. It’s incredible, and I’ve already talked about it several times. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest it.

Since reading that book (and the sequel is next on my list!) I’ve been spending a lot of time going through old photographs again. Since it’s 2014, I have so many of them scanned to my computer. There are many waiting for me in California that I inherited that still need to be scanned in. Anyways, I wanted to do a series type thing where I talk about my family and share some of the photographs that mean so much to me. I hope you, as a reader, do not mind. I’m going to do only a few, I am sure. There are specific people I have some pretty amazing photos of that I cannot wait to share.

Not to make this post long, I’m just going to share a few photographs this time around. The two photographs below are two that almost haunted me as a kid. These two photographs were in the brown leather photograph album with the black pages. The woman in the photographs are my grandma’s Aunt Loise and I wish I knew more about her. I’m not entirely sure if she was on her father’s side or her mother’s. More reason to look into I suppose! Has anyone ever tried it?!

This has to be one of my all-time favorite photographs in existence ever.

To me, photography and photographs are MAGIC. I think it is a magic that is taken for granted so much anymore because everything is so digitalized. Our phones have cameras, no need for film, #Selfie. Although I rarely use any film anymore, I still make a point to print out photos to frame as well as make a yearly photo album. I think it’s so important to document our lives. It’s important to document the people that matter most to you, the places you get to go and the footprints you leave there, as well as the every day moments that are the small things that will be remembered as the big things. I cherish family photos so very much, I cannot find a word to suit the amount of degree they hold! Photographs are not a way of lingering in the past, they are a way to remember the past, how and where it got you today.

“A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years, but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind.”
~ Albert Einstein