When my sister and I were cleaning out Momma and Daddy’s house following their deaths, we spied those awful Olen Mills “portraits” of us taken in the 70s. Remember those? Olen Mills was doing quite a business around here because they offered those phony-baloney backdrops that made you look as if you were in a library or in the country on an autumn day.
Yeah those. (You didn't think I was going to actually post a picture, did you?)
What makes those photos even worse is that if anyone had yet invented the concept of coordinating your clothes so that you didn’t clash with everyone else in the picture, we didn’t get the memo. We agreed that we had to destroy those pictures because NO ONE would want them. Our biggest fear is having one of our portraits adorn the walls of Cracker Barrel in 2111.
I confess, I study those pictures at Cracker Barrel secretly hoping to find James and Nancy Jollett, Mitchell and Martha Davis, somebody. I also make a point to flip through orphan photos whenever I go to an antique shop. A barefoot cutie in a christening gown gets me every time.
So I’m thrilled when I stumble across the blogs of people who are fascinated by orphan photos. I’m especially inspired by this Madness Monday post at Random Mews. Read how this Jessica put Jessica Fletcher to shame by tracking down the family that belonged to a handful of diplomas AND went back to find photos. What a Samaritan!
Who Will Tell Their Story and Forgotten Old Photos are both entire blogs dedicated to orphan photos. I’m just impressed that someone can find so much to say. I think I could maybe create a single post or two, but then I’d be out of ideas.
Forgotten Faces and Long Ago Places has an interesting collection of photos. I like how she uses the photos as an inspiration for her personal stories.
PhotoSleuth is a very useful and enlightening source for learning how to really LOOK at old photos, orphaned or otherwise.
And now my last offering. I’m not a genealogical purist by any means. I don’t believe all my work and discoveries are sacred. But when I found Mamie Jane's craft-blog post just the other day, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.