January 7, 2010

A Family in the Scanner

A Grandmother I never knew. 1910.

Himself: Swam. No jobs tho more sales jobs have begun appearing. Put up with me. Cooked dinner.

Herself: It was as if I had reversed the bug and gone back two days in time. Slept well tho.

Reading: To the library where I got six new books.

Balance: Not wanting to stop reading at ten at night.

To keep my hands and what was left of my mind busy while I coughed yesterday, I began one of my scanning projects.

Somewhere in the 1960’s, I had taken loose family photos plus pictures from an album I had made for myself and made an album for my mother. When I picked up the album to begin dismembering it yesterday, the cover ripped off in my hands. I had not known about high acid paper when I created this album. Rather than struggle to take the album apart, I began slowly ripping each page out before I carefully took the pictures from the page.

There’s my grandfather at 16 with his father and grandfather. There’s my grandfather’s sister who died at 13 of, I believe, Typhoid. Then there are these delightful images of a grandmother I never knew.

Grandmother Mary age 17.

She met and married my Grandfather in the late 1800’s. The first thing he did was buy her a pair of glasses….something her father wouldn’t allow. After the birth of two children, she settled in to the life of a wife of a workaholic electrical engineer. Despite a heart damaged by a childhood disease, she ran a busy household, delighted in golfing, traveled with her husband and children, and loved being a hostess. She helped put two children through the University of Michigan, but she grew increasingly tired and died in 1928 as a result of an enlarged heart.

She was a lot of fun, they said. Mother always told me that Grandfather regretted his long hours at work after she died.

Grandmother Mary fashionably attired in the second decade of the last century.


  1. It is so true when they say a photo takes the place of a 1,000 words (or something like that!). This woman comes through with such power and sharpness in her eyes that you want to know her. You want to know what she was thinking. I can see the resemblance, so you have some of her electricity.

  2. I see the resemblance too!! Love the pics. Patty

  3. How precious these old photos are. They tell us about the past, about our roots, about time; and they remind us that we are all part of a chain, connected to each other and to our world.

  4. Yes, like the other commentators I think you resemble her a lot, probably in the "lot of fun" sense as well.


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...