Sunday, February 20, 2005

Photo Albums

I'm working a fun project today that is a tiny bit house related.  Last week my parents ran into a box of old photos and photo albums in their attic.  The photos are of my paternal grandparents.  They are scattered in a bunch of albums that are falling apart or laying in loose piles.  A few of them have identification on the back; most don't.  There are probably a few hundred photos.

So, my task is to organize these photos, label the ones I can, and put them into new acid free photo albums.  Then get my parents to identify the remaining pictures.  I'll probably also scan most of them.  I love this kind of stuff.  I'm not a "scrapbooker", but few things are more satisfying to me than an album of neatly organized and identified photos of people I know. 

I remember the house my dad's parents lived in.  By the time I was born my grandfather had died, but I remember going to that house as a child and looking at my grandma's antique furniture.  I loved going up to the attic and looking at the boxed "treatures" up there.  I can still picture the layout of the house and I could tell you today where almost every piece of furniture sat in the house.  My other grandma lived in an old farm house.  I specifically remember the layout of her kitchen.  I could even tell you in which drawer she kept her kitchen tools.  I thought her flour bin was the living end.  I grew up in a new house, and I thought these old houses were cool beyond belief.

These houses absolutely influenced my love of old houses today.  When I bought my house I knew I wanted a walk up attic.  My couch is suspiciously similar to my grandmother's couch.  I love painting stencils around the wall of bedroom.....and this comes from visiting my (other) grandmother's farm house and looking up from the metal beds at the flowers my grandma had free form painted by hand.

These photos are from about the time my house was built (1920's).  It has dawned on me while I sort through them that many of the photos will be helpful to me and my plans for my house.  How neat would it be to use the design of my grandma's house's entry as a template for un-muddling my front steps?  I've also been eying the mailboxes, flowerbeds and fences in the multiple photos of people standing in front of their houses.

There is also another huge pile of pictures that my grandfather took while building the electrical transformers in Mexico, Cuba and British Honduras during the 1920's.  I also had a great uncle who worked as a chauffeur-care taker at the Reynolds estate in Long Island during this time and there is a stack of interior shots from the mansion.  How interesting is this?!!

Off to get my scanner working...... 

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