Monday, November 06, 2006
Saving Memories
I read an article in last Sunday's Boston Globe by Beverly Beckham, and what a timely article it was.

In When memories are merely jogging in place Beckham wrote:
"When my daughter turned 21, I didn't write about it, and she didn't write about it, or paste a coaster in a book or preserve it in any way.

And so it came, it went, and it's gone.

Most days are. We live thousands of them and recall just a few. Pictures capture some. And words. And song.

And sometimes something as simple as a matchbook cover or a ticket stub will bring back a day, or at least a part of it."
Recently I posted a recipe for potato pancakes and mentioned how I have been trying for years to make them like my mother's. When I spoke to Steve about what he thought would be a good photo to put up, he asked me if I had a picture of my mother cooking. That got me thinking about the pictures I have of her, and I realized that I have very few pictures of my mother, and those that I have are mostly formal pictures taken on special occasions.

My parents did not have a camera, that was the furthest thing on their minds. My mother stayed home, kept the home fires burning, and my dad worked hard just making a living. Fortunately my aunt had a camera so I do have a few childhood pictures, very few.

Maybe it was just my family that did not take pictures but I think that's the way it was, way back then.

Shoe Factory

When pictures were taken they were mostly group family pictures and no one smiled. This picture is of a shoe factory in Lynn, Massachusetts. My father-in-law is in the first row, fourth from the left.

Apparently the photographer did not say, "cheese."

When I was in my twenties, I was the proud owner of a baby brownie and started to save memories.

Wedding Toast

For our wedding, we hired a professional photographer.

After I was married, we got a camera that took photos and slides.

Lots of pictures were taken of Steve as he was growing up, birthday parties, vacations and family get-togethers.

Pots and Pans

Not many candid shots, but there were a few. ;-)

The more I thought about it, the more I was remembering the pictures that we took and finally I thought of a photo that was taken of my sister-in-law when she moved into her new apartment.

Minnie was a single lady who didn't cook much but she wanted to make us "a dinner" to celebrate her new place.

Hot Stove

As you can see from the picture it was a big deal for her to do it. That's what I call "a good candid shot." Wish I had more of those.

Aren't we lucky today to have so many ways to save memories - cameras, scrapbooking, blogs and video blogs and who knows what else is just around the corner.

Great pics. Steve looks just like his Dad.
Hi Millie, Very fitting post since I have just moved into a new desk at work and covered my "wall" in pictures of friends & family, including Grandma. It brightens the office and the day!
Millie you are reading my mind! We are expecting our 1st child in March and live far away from all family. I have been badgering all family members for photos so I can start a family scrapbook (both paper and online). I want to make sure our children know their family, even if they don't see them much. Getting photos out of these people is like pulling teeth! I'm not even focusing on old photos, though I want them too. It should be easier to get current photos, much less the old ones!
Beautiful pictures :)
I've often wished I had more pictures of relatives who were too vain to have their pictures taken :(
Millie , The enamel pot and pans on the stove bring back memories. Also the apron was like the one my Mom wore. (aprons aren't seen much theses days). I almost say you were a very beautiful young woman and have retained it well!
Hi I am not sure how I ended up here at your blog. BUT I can say that I am glad I did, and I would like to come back. Nice to meet you I am jsut a mom.
Sorry, Millie, but I believe that too many people get so absorbed in filming/taping/whatever an event that the event becomes a backdrop. I'd rather see no cameras or recorders of any kind at gatherings. Then, people wouldn't worry about being "on" but could relax and enjoy one another's company and (where appropriate) appreciate the significance of the event. I would rather people go with the formal portrait every 20-30 years and forget the interruption caused by recording special events. Ah...we're all different, aren't we? Love your postings!
Cop Car
..The pots you commented on were very popular years ago, as a matter of fact I still have a couple -got them at a yard sale - I use them when I make hard boiled eggs - That's what my mother did so that's the way I cook mine. I think any other type of pot would not wear well.

As far as "aprons" are concerned, the ladies or guys of the house don't cook much so they don't need them but I'll have to notice if the chefs on TV wear them.

Question to my readers, do you wear an apron when you are cooking?.
Cop Car

I agree with you that there are times that there are too many photos taken at events and that can be a distraction.

I wish I had more candid shots of every day living, years ago all they took were formal pictures.

When I do videoblogs they are like candids - they just happen - and that's a good thing.
Hi Millie,
I agree completely, there were not enough cameras around in my early days either - mum had an old tin chest that had the family photos but over the years different ones went through it and harvested the photos they wanted, even the chest was gone by the time mum went.

On the other hand, my grand-daughter is about 2 and a half years old, and I think I've had on average 5 new pics a week, every week! No risk of not having a record of HER growing up ::smiles::

Popped over also to check out your video again, I am finally taking the bullet and having a go to video on my blog, looking for inspiration, and yours are SO good.

Millie, how beautiful you were (and still are)!

We are very lucky to have the ways of taking and saving photos nowadays. We don't have many photos from my childhood either. Back then, taking photos was only for very special occasions.

This is amazing, to look and read your blog.
I was looking into the film, I do want a piece of the cake.
It sence wery tasty.

//Fancy passing by from Sweden
hahaha Millie - you 'couldn't open' my video!

Sorry, just my twisted sense of humour, I have set one up now for QuickTime - that might work?

Gosh! Isn't Steve so spookily like his father?! You can see the resemblence in your wedding photo.

I love the old photos! More please!!
Enjoyed your old photos. I have some of both sides of my family, too. The people in my photos aren't smiling either.

Seems to me I recall someone telling me once that people had to hold a pose longer than we have had to for many years with our cameras, so rather than ruin the picture because they couldn't hold the smile, everybody was just sober faced. Sounded plausible to me.

We must find some upper 90 to 100 yr olds to ask about that; maybe they'll remember. You and I are too young to recall! *smile*

Wonder if Claude would know -- no, no, not because of her age -- because of her photography. *smile*
loved the dips and turns here. remember discovering photos taken in workplaces (thanks for reminder) and think we need to revive this since so many spend much of their lives at work, have significant friendships.

aprons are in revivalvia young crafty women. check out site you'll not be surprised that i follow.
Oh, Millie...what great photos and a snippet of the past. Love the shoe factory one...vividly remember those shoe factories along the Lynnway.
Photos are a way of instantly taking us backward in time... to times that are treasured. Love your wedding photo! You haven't changed at all!

You were looking for a blogger older then we are,
guess what! I found a blogger who is 92 years old, his name is Donald at:

Maybe he could give us his thoughts about why they didn't smile when they posed for pictures "in the old days."

I think what you said, having to hold the pose for a long time could very well be the answer."smile"


I checked out " and found that blog very interesting!! Who knew, aprons are "in" again.

I learn something new everyday - the internet is an amazing source of information.

Thanks for the tip.
Hi Millie, First time here!

I am 31 and have been writing and taking pictures of my kids since the first one was born 3 years ago. I had an issue with pictures and writing because it didn't convey the full story... I ended up creating

I leave my thoughts and feelings with the pictures...and send them in the future to my kids!
What a great post - and what a lovely wedding photo! You really haev changed very little over the years :)

I come from a family where photographs were a daily occurrence. My dad has always been a keen photographer and I have literally HUNDREDS of photos of my mom as a young woman, as well as of my childhood. It seems as if I have inherited the gene because I photograph copiously, but not always (as you say) the "mundane" aspects of going through everyday tasks. But these are some of the things I'd like to preserve - like I have often thought to take a camera to work and photograph all the landmarks on my walk from the station to my office in Central London. But so far I haven't, and one day I'll wonder "what did that little park by the museum look like? I saw it every day - how can i not rememebr it?".

I do agree with Claude to a degree - sometimes you see people on holiday, surrounded by a beautiful city but their eye is glued to the video camera instead of looking around them. But on the other hand, photographs I've taken on overseas holidays can bring back such a flood of memories - like the holday my mom and I took to Vienna and London in 1995. I would have forgotten the bizarrely technicolour bedroom in the London hotel and the scary housekeeping lady with tattoos all over her face who demanded that we leave the room every morning - if it hadn't been for a photo that I took of the ghastly room with my mom sitting giggling on the bed. It's not pretty, it's not formal, but it brings back the happiest of memories.
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