Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt reminds me of the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” In this case, you can lead me to the prompt, but you can’t make me follow it. (There is some water, however.)
Icebergs. Rugged terrain blanketed in snow. Inuit people paddling in kayaks. The moon shining down on a black ocean.
|Daddy's scrapbook 1946-47|
Memories from a 19-year old boy’s year on the cutter Eastwind supplying military bases in Thule, Greenland are gathered carefully in a leather-bound scrapbook.
This scrapbook has been working overtime the past several weeks as photos of my father’s shipmates have been the focus of a series I call “Men of the Eastwind.” While they have not been successful at coaxing family members to step forward and share their stories, a better opportunity has come along.
One reader named Intense Guy sent me a link to the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, Massachusetts because of its collection of Coast Guard memorabilia. He suggested maybe there would be some information there, particularly since the annual Eastwind reunions are held at the museum.
But the museum did not have the names of servicemen. Instead they had an offer. The curator and Executive Director expressed interest in taking the scrapbook if I wished to donate it. They viewed the collection of photos as part of the Coast Guard’s post-World War II history. Apparently they actually looked at my blog because the curator commented on my dad’s “artistic eye.”
Historic value. Wow. I wish I could say something profound, but all I can I say is, “Wow.” Sixty-nine years ago, my father was a high school graduate with his eye on a G.I. Bill that would fund a college education. Now a collection of amateur photos taken by a young sailor with a little time on his hands could be on display, showing the world what it was like to be in the Coast Guard in Greenland in 1946-47.
My sister and I discussed whether to keep the scrapbook for family or pass it on. It didn’t take long to conclude that Daddy would think donating the scrapbook to the museum would be absolutely the coolest thing ever. I’ve scanned the most interesting photos. Daddy appears in only about five, and really – how many pictures of icebergs does anyone need?
As I write this, the scrapbook is on its way to the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport. The plans are to enlarge some of Daddy’s pictures for display as part of a special Coast Guard exhibit being staged over the next several weeks.
Please visit Sepia Saturday to see who else is horsing around.
© 2015, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.