Friday, October 4, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Hold Still, Pal!

 Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is the BAD photo, blurred, scratched, subject out of frame, whatever – just bad.  Fortunately – or UNfortunately – I have many that qualify.  In the days before digital photography, we weren’t aware of those bad shots until after we paid for them.  Maybe our ancestors thought, “I paid for it.  I’m keeping it.” 

As I’ve said repeatedly, the annual Jollett Reunion was a major social event not to be missed.  The albums passed down from my grandaunts Violetta and Velma are filled with the traditional “Group Photo” of everyone in attendance.  I’m sure many an evening was spent poring over the photo albums observing how people had changed.  There’s Millard.  There’s Sadie with the new baby.  Doesn’t Emma look good? 

But in 1925, they had this one to remember by:

Jollett Reunion 1925


Now, they didn’t KEEP this picture just because they paid for it.  Someone deemed it worthy of GLUING into the scrapbook.  They didn’t just toss it in the shoebox.  NO.  They GLUED it down.  Nobody was going to erase that day from memory.  No siree.   

A few years earlier and miles away, my grandaunt Helen Killeen Parker was preserving her own collection of bad photos including this one captioned “Just a picture”:

Photo in collection from Helen Killeen Parker about 1919
That's Helen bottom left, second one in.

Yeah, a picture that merited a caption.  And a lame one at that.

Helen didn’t stop with just the “white out” effect; she also kept photos with a “black out” effect, like this one captioned “Pals”:

Photo in collection from Helen Killeen Parker about 1919


Imagine being pals with the Headless Horseman!



Please make your way over to Sepia Saturday where the focus is on the “out of focus.”  Do not adjust your screen.




© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

38 comments:

  1. A wonderful collection of fuzzy photos - if you could only identify all the people in that first group!
    As usual, I love the humorous touch to your postscript.

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    1. I have figured out a couple people based on other pictures from the same reunion. Thanks!

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  2. Goodness, what strange photos to keep.

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  3. It's a lot of fun looking at those old photo disasters.

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    1. After visiting everyone this week and reading the stories that go with the pictures, I have a better appreciation for the bad photo.

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  4. That little collection is priceless.

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  5. I think you win! What wonderful bad pictures. Thank providence for digital cameras & the ability to mash the good halves of bad pix together to make a whole good one, or take out or move things around to fix 'em. Kind of a shame though, in a way, because we never could have had a bad pix Sepia Saturday without those great mistakes!

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    1. Yes, what will future generations of Sepians write about??

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  6. hahaha! girl you are too funny.

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  7. Yeah you made me laugh too! Only a determined family archivist would save these for posterity, but they preserve a joke that still has a punchline decades into the future.

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    1. I have plenty of "determined family archivists" to thank.

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  8. Love your comments. I think the humour must be genetic if these photos are anything to go by.

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  9. Love it - excellent use of all caps, too. :-)

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    1. Oh thanks -- just wanted to drive home the point with those caps.

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  10. You're right. One does wonder why some of these were kept.

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    1. Reading everyone else's stories behind their pictures makes me realize these photos must have a story too that made my grandaunts keep them.

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  11. oh yes, I have some of those old blurry photos that 5 should discard, unidentifieable and unknown here years gone by. A great prompt this week but I still did not get back. Enjoying reading the posts though. Good array of blurs here.

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    1. Thanks -- I'll be looking for you in future Sepia Saturdays though.

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  12. That first one is hysterical! Keep it? You betcha!

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    1. Maybe there was an earthquake. ??

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  13. The first picture sure did make me laugh, great "doubles" picture!!!

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    1. Yeah, makes me rub my eyes though.

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  14. I'm still chuckling at your presentation and commentary on the photos, Wendy. We have it so easy these days. We can take 2 dozen photos in quick succession, then chuck the 22 bad ones (though many of us usually don't), whereas our ancestors probably had just one photo of an event, good or bad. I like the photo of the girl and horse. It's just too bad the boy's only half there. Too bad you can't crop him out, adjust the photo, and have a moderately good photo of the young woman and horse. Of course, you could crop out everything but the face of the young woman.... Do you know who she is? She's very pretty.

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    1. I don't know the girl. I did consider photoshopping someone onto the boy -- Alan or Ticklebear -- but I'm not skilled enough to pull it off.

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  15. You made me smile. Well written. But I do wonder why they were kept.

    I do admire Helen's writing too.

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    1. Yes, that capital "P" is beautiful -- I'm going to try making my "P"'s like that!

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  16. Love the group shot! NOT! That would drive me crazy if it were the only group shot for that year, other wise it's a nice blurry photo.

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    1. It must've been the only group shot -- I can't imagine wanting to keep it otherwise.

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  17. Hello Blogging Friend...Isn't it nice to have cooler weather now that 'Fall' is here.   The changing season isn't the only thing happening in Blogland.  Here on CollectInTexas Gal, I've done a bit of a 'MakeOver' and added a BlogShop.   I'd like to take this opportunity to invite you over for a 'LookSee'.  Just click on the signature link below...hope to see you there.
    Sue CollectInTexas BlogShop

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    1. Hey Sue, I have visited your BlogShop several times. I hope it's doing well.

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  18. Wendy,

    These photos are priceless, especially the first one! That headless horseman pic is perfect for this time of year with Halloween coming up.

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    1. Ha - good point about the Headless Horseman. I wish I could say I planned it that way.

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  19. That is exactly what I was thinking, about Halloween and the headless horseman.
    I guess people did with what they had, no matter in what state it was.
    We may be more critical nowadays because of all of the editing tools we have,
    but let me tell you, I still see some dreadful pictures despite all of the technology.
    Some folks have it, some don't!!!
    :D~
    HUGZ

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    1. I think I'm one of those people who don't. My Christmas pictures this past year are the worst ever. I'll have to buy my sister's pictures in order to update my scrapbook.

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