Back at Thanksgiving I mentioned how there has recently been a bit of resurgence of interest in family interest among my cousins. I have been fortunate enough to inherit the photo albums from both sets of my grandparents. Even so there have been family pictures I never saw before. One of my cousins shared a few she had with my mom who later scanned them to give me copies. One more reason to love technology when it works right. So today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite new findings either because of the picture itself or because of what I learned in the process.First, allow me to introduce you to my great-great grandfather, Howard. I had never seen a picture of him before. He was a house painter and wall paper hanger. If you recall I have a tremendous aversion to wall paper and have even cursed its inventors. That said, I understand there was a time before latex paint was available when people wanted to be able to change or brighten their decor and wall paper permitted for that far better than oil based paints. Howard sure looks like a serious fellow but I know the family value regarding doing a job well or not doing it at all. I'm sure he was a darned fine paper hanger and painter.
Howard had three sons. I was aware the older two went to work after high school so their younger brother could attend university. What I didn't know was they went to work with their father and carried on the business of painting and paper hanging. The fellow on the left is my great grandfather, John Russel. I have to say this picture makes me grin ear to ear because of the real smiles on their faces. Although I was always taught to do whatever work I had to do as well as I possibly could the family always valued having a bit of fun in the process. I can just imagine these two brothers pranking each other during various jobs and I love the hints of impishness in their eyes. When I found out they had been painters I mentioned to my mom that some of the proud comments the older generation made to me when I spent a summer working as a painter made more sense to me now. I'd like to think great grandpa would be pleased that I know how to cut in a proper line (and take pride in doing so) when I paint a wall.
Here is my great grandmother about whom I have written before. Those memories were of her as an old woman though. It was special to see her as a girl and I really liked that she was smiling in a picture from an era where that was not usually the case. I just thought it made the picture especially charming and lovely. It gave a face to the stories from her own childhood I used to enjoy hearing her tell.
One of the other very few pictures of my great grandmother as a young woman was this one from her wedding day. I tend to remember her as a smiling woman with a good sense of humor but she looks rather serious in this photo. Her body language and the look in her eye seem rather unlike how I think of her as well but perhaps it's just the formality of the particular setting since this was a professional portrait for a momentous day.