One thing, as usual, has led to another. Tidying up my dolls in the house made me think that it would probably be a good idea to repack all the ones in the basement in something better than twenty year old cardboard boxes. Which in turn led to sorting out photos, yearbooks, journals, and the like. And then I tackled the slides.
I’ve mentioned them before. They were my grandparents’ records of their life and travels. I’ve needed to sort them out since my grandmother died about ten years ago. I’ve really needed to sort them since last winter when one of the boxes was inadvertently left on the basement floor to absorb water.
For ten bucks, I got a rudimentary slide viewer. I’ve also ordered one with magnification, but for now, I was able to purge more than half the slides. I haven’t touched the world tour 1962-ish slides except to divide them from everything else. They fill one giant paper box. Everything else now fits in one plastic crate with room to spare.
What I learned:
Vacation shots of people I don’t know bore me. Also family celebrations of people I don’t know. I did save one classic kid birthday party picture from about 1963 of a kid blowing out candles on a cake because it is a great photo.
Hawaii is beautiful, but I do not need a thousand pictures of sunsets. I saved about a third of the Hawaii shots, most of them with people in them.
Yosemite triumphs as the location most likely to win the Miss America pageant. As alluring as Hawaii is, the Yosemite scenery blew me away; I saved most of the Yosemite slides.
While I kept about 100 slides of flowers, I threw away at least five times that many. They were obsessed with flora. When I get the magnifier, I will further refine my selection to be representative of their enthusiasm without replicating the fixation.
People used to dress better. Also, the 1970’s had few redeeming fashion features. Furthermore, my mom has had some seriously crazy hair, but nothing as regrettable as most of my hair in the 1980’s.
My grandmother took too many pictures of the dark insides of churches.
She also took pictures of her television screen to capture Pope John Paul II’s installation and visit to America. I saved a couple of each because they are just weird enough to tickle my brain.
Surprisingly, the most interesting photos were the ones of the places they lived. I remember some of the places, but it is nice to have the details fixed in place. For the ones I don’t remember, it is interesting to see which objects stuck in their lives and which passed with time. Not to mention the time-capsule nature of period interiors and exteriors.
Finally, here is a picture of my grandpa and me in May 1970 at my house. (Yes, it is the second ugliest sofa ever. The one that came after it was the ugliest in that it was orange.) Notice we both have books.