My good sister will celebrate her birthday in a few days, and she has been after me to make copies of some of the pictures I have. Since she is not a computer person and is unlikely to become one, I decided to buy her a digital picture frame and load scans of these old photos onto it. It turns out that you can plug the frame into the USB port of my HP printer/scanner/fax and scan directly into the frame – which the HP sees as a memory device. All well and good such I did 165 scans in one sitting. Some of the pictures, though, stored in the memory as only a portion of a larger blank field. I needed to crop them. I plugged the frame into my laptop and used the freeware PhotoScape to crop and, in some cases, do some minor editing – mainly color restoration on the more faded images.
When I was done, I thought it would be wise to backup all those scans, so I pulled them onto my laptop, both the originals and the fixed versions, leaving only the cropped and enhanced copies on the photo frame. Since they are here, I thought I’d share a couple for your enjoyment and just in case someone thinks I’m joking or exaggerating when I call myself a hillbilly.
This is probably the oldest picture I have. As best I can estimate, it is just shy of 100 years old. When I first looked at it, I was struck by the looks of the people on the right hand side – none of whom I could identify, and I wondered why we had it at all. Then I saw the little girl in the middle standing immediately in front of the man in the bib overalls. I knew her. She’s passed on now, but she lived to be well up into her nineties and that face never changed to any great extent. Once I knew who the little girl was, I looked at the rest of that part of the group and things began to come together.
The next face that I knew was even more familiar. The lady in the rather stylish, dark hat and checked blouse holding a baby is my maternal grandmother. That’s her husband, my grandfather, in the bibs. His mother, my great-grandmother, is the dark-skinned, hatless lady on the far left. Those three little girls clustered in front of Grandma and Grandpa are my aunts. The boy next to them, in the Payne Stewart golf outfit, is my uncle. I can name all the children standing, but I’m not sure who the baby is. If my guess is correct, this picture was made about 1912 or 1913 – my mother is still several years in the future. Assuming no one was left back at the house, it could not be later than that, but it could be a year or two earlier. My sister will be better able to figure the ages, and two of my grandmother’s nine children are still living – both were too young to be in this picture. They might know who the other folks are. The lady on the far right looks familiar and could be my grandmother’s sister. I also suspect that the child standing in front of the rather severe-looking lady in the middle is a boy too young for drawers.
Finally, something much more modern and also typical of my family, we have a baptismal scene. By the way, I was baptized in that very same hole. The water comes from an Ozark spring and will turn you blue in July. That’s my father on the far left. One of his nephews is standing next to him. Based on the nephew’s age, I’d say we’re talking late forties. It could be a little earlier. I’ll ask my cousin next time I see him.