My father and I recently traveled to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to visit his sister. He hadn't seen her since their mother's death in 1992, and I hadn't seen her since their father's death in 1982. She's getting older, and doesn't travel much. We didn't travel much either. Seeing as it's a 15-hour drive, it's understandable we don't get together often.
Her adopted son, my cousin, had a baby girl back in 2000 with his then partner. Four years later, my cousin died, leaving that little girl to live with my aunt, her grandmother. It was suggested, and I agreed, that I should bring my grandmother's photo albums along, to help her connect to family she has never met. We spent hours looking through those old pictures, stretching back to the 1880's, hindered only by the attention span of an 11-year-old girl. Many of the photos I've posted came from those albums. I'd always regretted that the negatives for those had been lost, as I knew my grandmother had them for at least most of the photos.
I mentioned this to my aunt. She said, "Wait a minute, I think I have those." After a brief search of a closet, she produced a shoebox full of envelopes marked "Negatives 1916 - 1975". Lo and behold, all these years I had thought them lost, they were sitting in a closet in Wyoming! I have negatives in my possession dating back to 1910! My aunt was happy to turn them over to me, as she had no idea what to do with them, and they were just taking up space in her closet. Also, she wanted them to be passed along to someone who cared about them.
There were a few other goodies, but that will be the subject of a future installment...
This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman