Sunday, March 8, 2009

Old Pictures

I have these old Kodaks from a family picnic in Aspen, Colorado from August, 1951. The originals are badly yellowed, worse than what you see here. I enhanced them as best as I could to make them more legible.
Normally, I think family photos are things that have little interest to anyone outside the family circle. But, I've always been fond of these, which I inherited from my Father when he died in 2000. They record a moment of genuine happiness among a group of people who were usually very unhappy together. There were lots of bitter alcohol fueled fights between my Grandmother and Great Aunt. There were long periods when my Father and Uncle did not speak. That knowledge makes these photos all the more remarkable.

The woman on the left is my Great Aunt Helen. The woman clutching her purse in the center is my Grandmother Nell. The dapper man on the right is my Step Grandfather who we all called "Grand Daddy Paul," a true gentleman and a rock of sanity from Denmark. The two handsome devils in the back are my Uncle Ray on the left, and my Father, Frank, in the center.


This a photo apparently taken by my father on the drive out to the Maroon Bells from Aspen. If you look carefully, you can make out the Bells in the background. The road to the Bells is very different now from what you see here.


Great Aunt Helen and my Grandmother enjoying wild flowers in a meadow that I think was up near the old Aspen Sundeck.


My Grandmother, Aunt Helen, Father, and Step Grandfather along with a lot of people who I don't recognize, but must have been close friends; a picnic by a mountain stream.

9 comments:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I liked that visit.

Thanks

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

So long ago...

And yes, old photographs are great! if only one knows who is in them...

JCF said...

Those are great, Doug! (I take it you weren't dreamt of yet, when these pics were taken?)

Somewhere recently, I read someone say "Women were better looking in the past, but men are better looking now."

Based upon these photos, I'd have to disagree (which is to say that your uncle, step-grandfather but most of all your dad, were handsome devils, Doug . . . and I bet it rubbed off ;-) )

MadPriest said...

Were all these photos taken in a nuclear test zone?

Counterlight said...

My father was 23 in these pictures. My parents had not even met yet. I'm almost 7 years in the future. Aspen was still an abandoned mining town whose ski industry was just getting started. My Grandmother and Step Grandfather ran one of the very first ski lodges in Aspen at the time these pictures were taken. They sold it in the early 1970s when Aspen was a hippy mecca (they did not like hippies). My cousin and I always said that if they held on to it a few more years, they could have made millions. But, no one had any idea that Aspen would become this over-priced playground for the international plutocracy with oil-rich Arab princes building palaces near the city, and celebrities buying up houses and property.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Doug, the two brothers look very much alike, and I can see the resemblance between you and your father. I love the old pictures, even if I don't know the people.

Your folks should have held on to that property. Ah, the things that might have been. You could be rich!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Doug, the two brothers look very much alike, and I can see the resemblance between you and your father. I love the old pictures, even if I don't know the people.

Your folks should have held on to that property. Ah, the things that might have been. You could be rich!

MadPriest said...

Doug, Mimi's two comments look very much alike...

Grandmère Mimi said...

It was so well-said that I thought it needed saying twice.