Tag Archives: stories

When you photograph people

in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls! ~Ted Grant

My mom as been going through old family photos, scanning them and uploading them to facebook. My family has a, perhaps unusual, fondness for family photos…come to think of it, maybe just photography in general. When we all get together, about 1 out of 3 times we will end up looking at photos for at least an hour. Anyway, I thought I might share a few here.

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This is my mom’s dad (my Papa) cooking at his parents’ house in Texas as a teenager. The love of food runs deep in my family. When my grandparents first got married, my Papa did almost all of the cooking. He had learned growing up on the farm and because, where they lived in Texas, home ec was required for all student, boys and girls. My grandmother (my Nonnie) knew some basics but the primary cook when she was growing up was her sister (16 years her senior), who didn’t like people in the kitchen when she was cooking. The story is that the first time Nonnie tried to fry chicken she didn’t know that you had to bread it, she just threw chicken pieces in hot grease and wondered why it wasn’t getting crusty.

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That’s my great-grandmother (my Bondon) with my great-uncle David and Papa as a baby. Given Papa’s age, this was the second half of 1933. You could definitely tell that Bondon was from the Great Depression generation. Even during the mid-to-late 80s and the resurgence of consumerism, she abhorred waste of any kind. I remember her once eating mayonnaise straight out of the jar because it was about to go out of date and she didn’t want it to spoil.

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This is Nonnie when she was about 14 during WWII. Isn’t she beautiful? Nonnie’s two brothers, Jack and Charlie, were both in Europe during WWII. During this time, families of killed or missing soldiers were notified by telegraph which was delivered by a bicycle messenger. As a result, every time someone would see the bicycle messenger they would all hold their breath until he passed. One day he didn’t pass. He rode up to the porch and delivered a telegraph to Nonnie’s sister’s house. Nonnie was sent to her mother’s house (she lived down the street) to get her, she ran as hard as she could and then they both ran back. Nonnie said by the time they got back, she was just about to pass out from being out of breath and nerves. So finally everyone is gathered up and they open the telegraph, without saying a word Nonnie’s sister reads it and then hands it over to her mother who then reads it and continues to stare at it. Finally everyone else about to be in hysterics, she reads it. It was from her brother Jack, he had spent (ie gambled) all his money, could they send him a few dollars. Of course, I don’t tell it as well as she did, Nonnie could spin a quite a yarn.

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This is my mom and her brother. Check out that stroller. Also notice how pristine those socks and shoes are.

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That’s Papa, my uncle Butch, my mom and Nonnie. Don’t they look fine? Like they are straight out of MadMen.

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My uncles Scott (bottom left) and Butch. That’s a pair right there, it’s a wonder Nonnie wasn’t crazier than she was. Like the time they were out playing (around the same age they are in the picture) and Butch comes running in screaming that Scott had been run over by the neighbor and she (Nonnie) has got to come help him (!). Nonnie runs out into the street frantically looking for Scott’s little broken body, Butch the whole time scream hysterically “Help him Mama, you have to help him”. She gets into the street and doesn’t see Scott anywhere, she turns around to ask Butch where he is and sees him standing in the yard just a cackling, she also then happens to notice the garbage can shaking suspiciously. She goes over and takes the lid off the can and there is Scott trying his hardest not to laugh. Can you imagine? I would have sold them both to the circus.