March 18, 2011

Black and white stories...

After my grandma passed away last year, my mom and I were faced with the (somewhat daunting) task of cleaning out her apartment.  You never know what you'll run across when your going through my grandma's stuff.  Some of my favorite finds (besides her extravagant jewelry collection and old coins and spoons) were her collection of old photos. 
Hundreds of them.  Boxes and boxes of them. 


  So I took some of my favorites and keep them in my studio for inspiration.  I absolutely love them.  Some of them have her handwriting on the cracking yellowy backside.  Whether or not they have any writing is mostly irrelevant because they're so old that neither my mom or I could even identify the people in them.


Before my grandma died (while she was still in the nursing home), I took a small collection of my favorites into her room one evening and asked her if she recognized them.  Some people she was able to identify (she still had a pretty sharp mind), but some were just simply too old.  


When she passed it was heart breaking for me.  She was the last one in our family who knew anything about the stories in these photos.  With her died an an entire generation of stories and memories. 
Nowadays we snap pictures left and right with our high tech digital cameras and hardly give it any thought.  Pictures today don't hold as much meaning, and they certainly don't tell as powerful of stories as these old ones do. 


And that is what I love most about them. 
No pretention.  No make-up.  No cheesy smiles.
Just honesty and truth.
Reality.
And stories.
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