Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sunday Search: Putting Names To Faces

When my wife and I were figuring out our schedule for the weekend we knew that we wanted to get together with my parents before they left for a little warm weather vacation next week. Fortunately, despite some other changes to our plans, everything worked out and we spend yesterday afternoon together. More importantly, our son spent some time with his grandparents.

It was supposed to be one of our usual get togethers over lunch and then back at the house to catch up on things (even though I talk with them every few days). It is a nice relaxing time. However, I decided to change things up a bit yesterday when, because the thought popped into my head, I decided to pull out the photo album sent to me months ago (maybe over a year at this point) and flip through the pages with my mom. We did a quick scan before lunch noting some of the relatives I knew, many that I didn’t, and, oddly, some that I recognized but my mom didn’t.

This was a long overdue project and after lunch, toward the middle of the afternoon, we revisited the photos but this time we took a closer look and I had post it notes in hand to record the names. After flipping through a few of the pages and not being able to put a name to a face on a few occasions, we peeled back the plastic and carefully pulled up the pictures from the paper in the hope that there might be some information on the back. While this didn’t always work, there were a few times when it did and it allowed us to put a few more pieces together.

What we couldn’t figure out immediately was the handwriting on the backs of the photos until one of the last pictures had the simple words inscribed on it “My Mother” which means that my grandfather labeled many of the photos that we had been looking at over 30 years ago. It was one of those things that we didn’t expect but glad that we figured out. What was also nice was the fact that I have done so much on the family tree because there were a few times when only first names were known or ‘that was her or his daughter.” By having much of the tree completed, I can write down the bits of information now and put the pieces together later.

Hopefully, this is the first of many times when I can sit down with my mom and put faces to names. There are a number of other loose photos and albums stored in drawers at their house and I am eager to flip through them and finally pull together a visual history of the family in addition to the information that we already have. Who knows, maybe I can even discover something new. But, for now, it is back to the current album where I can now write (with an archival pen of course) on the backs of the photos the names of the faces on the front.