Thursday, September 15, 2005

old pictures

Rurality has a good post today about old photographs. I love old photographs. I have boxes of old family pictures, those stiff, black and white pictures from the 1940s to the 1970s with the white border around them. I have of ton of pictures from before then too, a little more flimsy, but with a pretty scalloped edge. I can sit for hours looking at those pictures, scrutinizing everything. I especially love the ones of my great-grandmothers kitchen. I collect retro kitchen things....aprons, cannisters, dishware, tea towels, utensils, etc.....and that kitchen was full of great stuff. There is one photo of a birthday and the table is set with an entire collection of Fire King Jadeite dishes. I asked my mother once what happened to those dishes (probably worth a fortune now) and she said that Gran-nan got tired of dishes, and would climb up on a step ladder, empty out the cabinet, dropping the dishes onto the kitchen floor, laughing the whole time. That sucks but is not suprising.

There was a McCoy pottery kitchen sponge holder that sat on the windowsill above the sink. It was green and was a series of little Scotty Dogs, increasing in size from smallest to largest. Every now and then one comes up on Ebay, but I haven't purchased one yet. I would love to have one for my kitchen windowsill. There were other things in the kitchen I would love to have. On the door frame, between the kitchen and dining room, was a cast iron bottle opener. It was a bald man with, I think three eyes, and big buck teeth that stuck out (that opened the bottle). I was terrified of that bottle opener. Whenever I was there as a kid, Gran-nan would tell me to get two Cokes from the fridge (the 16 oz. glass bottle kind) but I could never open them cause of the scary bald-man bottle opener.

Some of the pictures have traveled overseas and back. There are many pictures, the scalloped edge kind, of my grandmother with my very young mother that were sent to my grandfather in Korea. There are notes on the back from her to him. And lots of times her calves are scribbled out or she tells him to pay no mind to her double chin in the picture. Was there ever a time when women weren't self-concious of their weight? It must predate Daguerre.

My favorite pictures are those in the yard. My Greatgrandmother and Greatgrandfather had a beautiful yard. Azaleas and dogwoods and dahlias and roses and hydrangeas...just beautiful. There is a great picture of four generations of women sitting in those kitschy metal chairs from the 40s, in a semicircle, completely surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs. My mom, my grandmother, my great grandmother, and my great, great grandmother, all leaning forward and smiling for the camera. Sometimes I drive past that house when I am close by. It isn't far from Harrisburg High School. The house hasn't been kept up, and the yard looks nothing like it did in the old days. But it still has the biggest yard in the area, and the grill on the front door is still there with my great grandmother's initial on it. The cement step up from the street is still there, poured some 60 years ago, with Sarah and Earl carved into it with a heart drawn around it.

5 Comments:

Blogger EFB said...

In the old house we bought there was a big box of old photos left there by previous owners. some of them are just amazing. i want to do something with them, but just can't figure out what. some of them are sepia on that thick almost cardboard-like paper.

4:00 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Do they show the house? YOu have to display them somewhere. Are they little or big?

1:30 PM  
Blogger EFB said...

hmm actually they don't really show the house. most of them are small like 5x7 and smaller.

2:49 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

well maybe just frame a few. Or cycle them in and out. Check out the square america website and put together a bunch of pictures that have something in common....an emotion, some flaw (overexposed), or something like that.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Foo said...

Did the bottle opener look like this?

8:15 PM  

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