On That Recipe, my mother and I often harp on writing down the family recipes before they are lost. But, I have also begun a quest to get the family photos and letters saved so they are not lost to the ages. My mother's parents lost most of their photos and other momentos during Fairbanks Great Flood. Thanks to Hurricane Katrina my brother lost many of his childhood photos as well as copies of love letters from my Grandfather to my Mimi sent during World War II - luckily I still have the originals which have since been scanned.
Still not convinced this is an important project?
A year ago my mother and I were going through some old photos and we came across a tinted wedding picture of my great grandparents, Eugene and Helen (Reymond) Lalanne, that I don't think I had ever seen. I remember the black and white version in their children and grandchildren's homes but never the tinted version.
The big problem was after 97 years it was in bad shape. I knew the moment I saw it that it was "losing silver". So, I rushed it to Photo Works Temecula to have them work their magic like they'd done on some other photos I'd had them digitize. She took one look and said "It is losing silver". She trained my eye pretty well, huh?
Here are the before and after versions:
WOW!!! Do you see why this is important now? Additionally, with a few quick keystrokes, all of their grandchildren and greatgrandchildren now have a digital copy that they can have printed for themselves. And it will be saved in multiple places so we've decreased the risk of it being gone for good.
Quick digression - One of the family jokes is that my grandmother, Eleanor, is in the picture. No, they didn't HAVE to get married, the photo was taken a few months after their May 9, 1914 wedding date since they didn't have the money at the time. My grandmother was born in April 1915. I am also trying to write down and share stories like this for the next generation as well.
While I am lecturing you I may as well add one more. If you are the family photographer that hides behind the camera (my hand is raised in guilt), you need to step out from behind it once in awhile and be in the pictures. I hate having mine taken too. But, your children, nieces, nephews, etc. DO NOT care. Sure they might make fun of your clothes or some other goofy thing, that's what kids do. But, years from now they will thank you because they actually have a picture of you.
Hopefully, I inspired some of you to preserve your family's photos and videos and to be in them. And to my family, I am still in the process of setting up photo sharing folders, but J wants to go outside and play so I am going to balance being in the present with remembering the past.