A few years ago my grandmother on my father’s side passed away; I still miss her dearly. A few weeks after she died we went searching through boxes and boxes of things she had packed away in her garage. It was quite the task because it looked like she had kept everything from her whole life. Old clothes, books, furniture I’d never even seen before, but most importantly, photos. She had boxes and boxes of photographs from her life, from her parents and other relatives lives, and it goes on.
Thousands and thousands of photos that no one in my family ever knew even existed.
We went through it briefly then, but it wans’t until recently that I started to go through it myself, and actually appreciate the great gift she had left the family.
She gave us a treasure.
She put notes on everything, which was great because otherwise I would have had no idea who a majority of the people in the photographs were.
I wanted to see if I could understand what my grandparents were like when they were younger, before they had children.
I had always known them as my grandparents, to me, they had always been old, never my age. It was exciting, it was discovering familiar people in a much different way. It felt like I was getting to known them again.
I liked that my grandparents had documented their lives in the way that they did. For me, pictures are much better than a journal or names in a bible. Photographs bring not only the visual element to the, but also (for me) the human element. They assisted my imagination to better help me understand my grandparents.
It was hard to picture my grandparents being as active as they were. I discovered something no one could tell me. These pictures are some of my most prized possessions not because of the moments they represent, but of the people they frame.
These are the few I managed to get before my family split them up.
My grandmother, Gloria “Gogo” Flannery.
Charles “Chuckie” Flannery
No idea what this picture is from, but I love it. Chuckie is standing, 3rd from left.
These next two are of my step great grandfather. He was a very successful businessman. Completely loaded, he owned one of the largest houses on Lido Isle in Newport Harbor in the 50’s. When he died, my great grandmother sold the house, they split it into three lots and now there are three enormous houses there.
Jules Axelson, of the Axelson Fishing Company (AFCO). Ask any older fisherman about that company and they likely have heard of the AFCO. The company also used to design drilling and pumping gear for oil companies before it split into different corporate entities.
This is my favorite shot.
This last one has no explantion. I have no idea who he is but I love the frame.
I’m going to try and put some others ones up, but it could take some time.
Catch you on the Flipside!