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Posts Tagged ‘Smile For the Camera’

On Saturday morning we went to the local computer/electronics/appliance store to find a new printer.  Ours is maybe 10 years old (I don’t even remember when we bought it!).  As my husband pointed out this is our 3rd printer since we’ve been married – 20 years – which isn’t bad in the grand scheme of things.  Of course our first printer was a dot matrix – remember the perforated lines on each side that you had to tear once your document printed out? And it was only black ink.  I’ve had the Epson Stylus 880i and really like it (still do even if it is putting great big inky marks all over the page!).  So I told the rep trying to interest me in another big name printer that I was partial to Epson.  I did find an all-in-one (no fax though as we really don’t need that).  Bought some extra ink and then home to hook it up and install the software for it.

I used the scanner on Saturday and Sunday and it is quite fast.  I won’t get rid of our flatbed scanner becaues it has a slide and negative attachment.  Since I still have oodles of slides to scan, it will still come in handy.  Plus it is larger than the new all-in-one and I can scan my scrapbook pages on it as well.

I’ve also added some more records to Find-a-grave and a member tree on Ancestry (even though I’m not a paying subscriber, I was invited in to this member tree). I just figure that the more information I flood the web with, the easier it will be for people who are looking for mutual ancestors to find me.

Also, for so long I’ve kept my maternal and paternal lines on separate gedcom files (don’t ask why I even did that!) so this weekend I merged everything into one big happy family file. Oh the joy – oh the headache – now I have to merge all those duplicated individuals and then go back and fix family relationships. Why am I doing this again?

I’ve also tried to catch up on reading the submissions for the 5th Edition Smile for the Camera hosted by footnoteMaven at Shades of the Departed (awesome job, by the way!), the Family Heirloom meme hosted by Julie Cahill Tar at GenBlog and the 55th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene.

In between all of that, I have real life issues – I have family in the Southwestern area of Ohio (around Dayton) and they’ve been without power since Sunday afternoon.  I haven’t been able to contact my mom – who has an electric phone (?!?!) but have talked with her neighbor and received an email from my cousin.  So I’ve been a little freaked out about what’s been going on up there.  Apparently Ike whipped around us here in North Texas and headed straight for the midwest.  You can read about the damage here. Good thoughts and wishes please!

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The Smile For the Camera 5th Edition is Crowning Glory. “Show us those wonderful photographs of hairdos and maybe even a few don’ts. Don’t limit yourself to just hair fashion through the ages, got a great photograph of a hat, helmet, bonnet, or some other interesting headgear? Share!”

So to respond to that call here are some photographs.  I look at these and ask myself, “What were we thinking?”  I am even including some of my horrible hairstyles through the years (boy, my kids will get a big kick out of these!) and to show that even though they are humiliating, I am willing to Share! (How ’bout the rest of you out there?)

The picture on the left is my Aunt Marie back in the late 60’s at our home in Ohio.  Since we had a backyard pool, it was the rule that all girls and women had to wear a bathing cap so the hair wouldn’t accumulate in the filter and clog it up.  Aunt Marie liked her flowery bathing cap!

The picture to the right is one of my Dad back when he was either still in highschool or right after he graduated (1939).  It had to be before he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  Look at that hair!  I guess I’m pretty biased – I think my dad is a good looking guy!

Ok – this is your’s truly in 2nd grade about 1968)!  I HATE this picture because my hair was cut a day or so before school pictures were taken.  This was one of the very last times I let my hair get cut this short!  Some people thought I looked like a boy!

The picture below is one of my favorite school pictures (especially the color version).  I was in Junior Highschool – I think 9th grade.  I’m wearing make-up and since I wasn’t allowed to wear make-up until I was a Freshman, I tend to think it was my last year at the Jr. High.  Notice the curls – that wasn’t easy to achieve with my naturally curly hair.  No matter how long I used the curling iron, my hair wants to curl the opposite way!  I also liked this picture because at 13, I looked much older (at least that’s what I was told) and back then I loved it when I looked older than I was (not so much anymore!).

To the left is a picture of my brother in the mid-50s in Japan.  Not sure what the sailor cap was all about (since my dad was Army Air Corps)!

The little girl with the huge bow in her hair is my great-grandfather’s sister, Eva.  This was probably taken about 1920 when she was about 10. 

Below is a picture of my maternal grandparents, Glen and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson.  I’m not sure if they were “courting” or already married at this point.  I just love the hats they are wearing!

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Shades of the Departed posted the 4th Edition Smile for the Camera this morning. The theme is My Favorite Photograph.  There are 40 participants and they are all great!  Go check it out and see how some folks had a difficult time picking just one favorite!  My entry is Two Sisters and shows a cherished photo of my grandmother and her sister when they were young.

Also – if you aren’t part of the genea-bloggers on Facebook and are wondering what other genealogy blogs are out there, please go to An Index of Site Titles Published by Members of GBers on FB with Links to those sites.  Terry Thornton of Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi put together a really wonderful list.  Check out these blogs and make sure to leave comments and bookmark them.  Thanks, Terry!

Have you read Sheri Fenley’s The Educated Genealogist  Sheri’s also participating in the Genea-Blogger Group Games and has listed several of her accomplishments.  She’s also written a series of posts concerning her trip to Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.  What a sense of humor you have, Sheri!  Please go check out her blog and make sure you tell her you stopped by!

Jasia, at Creative Gene responded to questions asked by two other writers.  Tim Abbott at Walking the Berkshires wanted to know what were the 10 most influential albums of your youth in The Soundtracks of My Salad Days.  Jasia responded to this question with this answer.  The other question was posed by Schelly at Tracing the Tribe who wondered where we’d be today if Alex Haley hadn’t written “Roots”.  Jasia gave her humorous reply here.  I left my response as a comment on Jasia’s post.

Thanks, fellow Genea-Bloggers, for great writing and posts today!

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The theme for the 4th Edition of Smile For the Camera hosted by footnotemaven is “My Favorite Photograph”. “Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that is your favorite family photo or that photograph you’ve collected and wouldn’t give up for a King’s ransom.  Is it the only photograph of an ancestor, is it funny, poignant, or very rare? My favorite photograph is the first one I ever collected. What’s yours? Share it with us! Then get back out in the summer sun.  Your submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!”

Jasia, at Creative Gene, had the same reaction I did – “you’ve got to be kidding!”

I can’t even begin to pick out just one!  With four children and three grandchildren, I have tons of pictures of each of them or a combination that I really love.  I also have several photos of my parents taken early in their marriage that I really like.  However, they divorced over 30 years ago, so it probably isn’t prudent for me to post those.

This photo shows my maternal grandmother, Vesta Wilt, about age 7 and her only sister, Nellie (about age 4).  It’s one of the few photos I have of my grandmother as a child.  As a child, I always wanted my hair to grow really long but having baby fine hair, it never got that long.  I tended to have pretty short hair as a young girl until I got old enough to decide I wanted to let it grow.  My mother always said that I had the same type of hair as my grandmother’s – curly and unmanageable.

The first time I saw this photo, I believe I was a very young teenager.  Many of my grandmother’s friends always told me I looked like her (I still don’t notice that much of a resemblance other than the fly-away hair and blue eyes).  Yet it brought home to me the fact that at one time, my grandmother and great-aunt had been children! 

I often wonder if this studio photograph had been an expense that their parents could hardly afford since they had four other sons to feed as well.  Was this the only photograph taken of my grandmother has a girl?  Had there been others – possibly a family photograph?  Was this taken for a special ocassion?  How long had my great-grandmother spent brushing my grandmother’s hair and getting it fixed just right?

When I look at this photo, I wonder what that young girl was thinking.  Her parents were just a few years away from divorcing; her youngest brother was just a baby; and her mother was pretty religious.  What events were shaping her character and thoughts at that time?  Did she enjoy a carefree childhood or one spent worrying about what the next day would bring?  Was she tasked for “taking care” of her little sister?

One similarity between my grandmother and I, is that I only have one sister too.  However, I’m the younger one and by many more years than these sisters. 

I am also fortunate to have a comparison picture (my grandmother, Vesta, on left).  This pictures shows the two sisters taken over 65 years later.  Even though Nellie spent the latter part of her childhood and teen age years in the West and later went on to marry and raise a family in Washington State and my grandmother (in between traveling with her husband to military posts) resided in the Dayton area, they remained very close all of their lives.  I feel so blessed to have known both of these women pretty well as I grew up and even spent some time with my great-aunt in Washington as a young child.  And I’ve been able to steal glimpses into their relationship through the many letters they wrote to one another. 

So I can’t say that this is my favorite picture out of all the ones I’ve taken, inherited or collected, but it is a photo that I return to time and again in order to see the younger version of my grandmother.  Before life got too difficult.  Before her family split up.  Before she met my grandfather.  Before she became known as a wife, mother, and grandmother.  She was just . . . Vesta.

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