Red badge of courage…


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Small town America circa 1962.

Picket fences and the Chevy out front an idyllic scene of a time and place that is no more.

I don’t recall my Grandparents having a white picket fence in the Dells. They may have I don’t remember. I only remember the front entrance way of that house. I don’t even recall the kitchen, or the upstairs just the main entrance of the house and my grandfathers basement. He had a picture in his basement of his regiment from WWI on the wall (that is now in Nick’s room). I recall a saddle in that space and saddle bags but I can’t for the life of me tell you why I recall those two things. I do not recall anything else about that house. We went there a few times over the years and then once Grandpa and Grandma moved to Racine we visited them a couple more times before we left for Thailand. When we got back we stopped by to see Grandma A every year. She was living with my Great Aunt Mart by then.

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This picture was taken the year I ran into the tree with a sled. You can see my red badge of courage head wrap. I will never forget dad nearly fainting when he tried to change the wrap. This was before Barb was born but Lynne and I are talking about something. I remember only that my head hurt. It throbbed most of the time for about a month.

Next time I will not play George of the Jungle on a Sled.

This picture is from Racine and the house Grandpa and Grandma had moved to. They left the Dells and moved to Racine. It was on the way to Cambridge or on the way home from Cambridge so we stopped by more often. The Dells is in the middle of Wisconsin a good 2-3 hours from Madison.

I still have the scar from the tree incident although it has faded considerably over the years. I did hit my head so my kids think that explains a lot.

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Great picture of my grandfather and two of his grandchildren. I am going to guess that the two kids in the picture are my cousins Laurie and Andy.

Laurie and Andy were the children of my Aunt Patty and my Uncle Fred.

To the left is the Christmas tree and the year is 1967.

This was in Racine I believe but I am not completely sure. As I said my memories of the two houses my Grandparents (Andersen) lived in are fluid and fuzzy.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

The old and the new old…


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This calls to mind the Ezra Pound poem about the red wheelbarrow rusting in the garden. What happens when machines aren’t needed anymore?

The inevitable march of technology. The machine to the right has ultimately less power than a standard car does. The steam engine to produce the power for this vehicle was huge. It was also heavy so that in the end the steam pressure used to move it, didn’t actually blow it up.

Times have changed and technology has moved forward although if you consider this vehicle when it emitted stuff into the atmosphere it was water vapor. That part was good. It was a more renewable vehicle.  I wonder if they had Sirius-XM radio in the old locomotives Smile.

1964 Train museum near Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin.

The interesting reality for me sometimes in having been around the world is that old here in the US is often less than 200 years old. The next pictures from Sweden are of Castles that would in the end be 400-500 years old. I guess that is the difference between the old and the new.

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I am a sucker for castles. This one from Sweden in 1972. We were staying in Copenhagen and took a ferry over to Stockholm for the day. During that stay I was introduced to the most wonderful city (Copenhagen, I’ve had the chance to go back) and part of my ancestral homeland. The Danish side of our family comes from my dad and we actually came from Jutland.

I have a picture I took on this trip with my Kodak camera (110 instamatic) of the Lady in the Harbor or as we  call her now “Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid.” Our family name is Denmark was Andreessen (there is a missing mark over one of the e’s or both of them possibly) so we aren’t related to the Master Story teller. He also died childless so in the end it would be really hard to be related to him other than indirectly.

1972 A Swedish Castle.

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I suspect I influenced this picture. I loved castles and I loved the concept of a moat. I tried to convince dad once that we should dig a moat around our house. As you can guess that it happen nor did my argument sway him. I would suspect however that on the way into this castle data took the moat picture to shut me up.

I love castles. I have been to castles in many countries of Europe but the first ones I saw in 1972 in Ireland remain the most magical for me. Those are the castles I think about when I say castle out loud.

Go ahead – try it, say castle out loud and see if you don’t have an image of a castle you’ve seen in your head!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Great pictures of yesterday or perhaps yesteryear…


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slidetray028

Somewhere in Wisconsin 1964.

What a wonderful picture – good composition and an interesting subject. When you see a picture of a flock of geese you always wonder what happened next. Did they fly into an area where hunters were waiting for them guns poised and go no further.

What season was it? Were they flying North or flying South. Or were they simply moving from one lake to another the water grasses they liked to eat tasting funny at this lake so they moved on. Were they startled by a natural predator or were they simply bored.

It is a great picture of a moment 52 years ago that will never be again but will always exist.

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Another great moment captured. The train that once served a valued purpose now retired to rust and eventually disappear but even though from the time this picture was taken to now it has probably decayed it isn’t gone yet. Unlike the works of Ozymandias lost forever to the sand these monuments still stand.

I was informed that a picture I posted yesterday that I thought was my Uncle Rick was in fact my Uncle Jim Blair. Uncle Jim I remember he was a Doctor and a very smart man. I always enjoyed talking to him. I believe when I was around 14 he and my cousin Andy moved to Maine. It was my Aunt Barbara and it was from the day of their wedding.

Its always good to know the true story behind the artists picture.

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My father always wore a Bolo tie. I never really understood why. I didn’t until I saw this picture have a memory of my Grandfather Andersen wearing a bolo but he did. Dad was following in the footsteps of his father. I guess I could wear a bolo but in the end I hate ties.

There are a number of wonderful train museums all around the country. I have over the years been to a few. My great-grandfather Johnston was a finish carpenter for the Pullman Car company of Aurora Illinois. Whenever I see passenger train cars I always imagine that he put in the finishing wood word of that car. That someone I could connect with him by touching the wood in that train car. Wood that he had touched over a 100 years ago. Perhaps that connection could exist.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Family pictures again….


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No clue where this was taken. Pretty sure it had to be 1970 (summer) or 1971. I remember when dad used to smoke a pipe. He stopped after we left for Bangkok although I couldn’t say the actual year he stopped smoking the pipe.

There are several pictures of buildings that would appear to be Springmill Indiana. Mom however doesn’t recall Grandfather Andersen (who took this picture) ever being in Indiana when we lived there.

So chalk this one up to another time, another place and something else I don’t remember. In order of this picture starting on the left.

Grandmother Andersen (Dad’s mom), Mom with Barb on her lap, Lynne, me and then my father with the pipe.

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I believe this 1958 photo was of my Uncle Rick and my Aunt Barbara (both deceased). My Aunt Barbara on my dad’s side was my father’s oldest sister. She passed away in 1965 or 1966. I only vaguely remember being at her house in Ann Arbor once when I was little.

Nick said to me this morning it seems like a lot of people in our family have died. I was thinking about that and when you are 16 one or two people dying is a lot. When you are 53 and a lot of people you loved, knew and conversed with have died one or two isn’t a lot.

Losing your father is a tough one. Losing your mother is a tough one. That shakes you to the core. That means the person that was part of the process that built you, made you, etc is gone. Hard in the end to deal with.

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Christmas, like water is a big deal for my mother. This picture is from 1966. I am facing the camera and Lynne has her back to the camera. Our mother nicely dressed us in IDENTICAL PJ’s. I haven’t’ shared this picture until today as like my sister and the hair issue this one kind of doesn’t make me happy.

Why in the end mom, identical PJ’s?

This picture was taken by my Grandfather Andersen. It was in their house in the Dells. I have vague disjointed memories of that house. Nothing concrete or exact but various things. I remember Grandmother Andersen letting me read a Moby Dick comic book.

My kids all looked at dad and said “he looks weird without facial hair.” I don’t believe my children ever saw their grandfather clean shaven.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Remembering places I don’t recall


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This image was taken by my grandfa6ther so it has to be 1971 probably that summer. The summer before we left for Bangkok.

The little girl (with HAIR!!!) in the from tis my sister Lynne. My little sister Barb is being held by dad. The slide tray says this is from Indiana. If it is (and I am not sure it is) this would be at Fairfax beach on Lake Monroe. Fairfax was the beach mom always took us to during the summer.

It was an artificial beach on an artificial (Army Corps of Engineers) created lake. But we loved going there. This might have also been taken in Wisconsin. As I said I don’t recall the location just the people.

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What you have here is a legacy of Indiana. From the early 1900’s to roughly the mid to late 1930’s Indiana Limestone was the building material everyone wanted. A quarry was dug. What you don’t see are the massive towers that held the guide wires for cutting and lifting the rocks out of the quarry.

What you do see is the lake left behind. There are many of these in southern Indiana. Perhaps most made famous by the scene in the movie “Breaking Away.”

On the right hand side of the picture is the slag pile. Stone that wasn’t going to be used was piled up on the side of the quarry. The Empire State Building was made with Indiana Limestone. The beautiful building still stands in N.Y.C.. The hole created by taking the stone for the building still exists in Indiana.

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The most amazing thing about some of these pictures is that I have never seen them. I don’t have any memories wrapped around these pictures. This came from my either my father or my grandfather’s slides collections from a tray called Indiana 13. They had the same handwriting so I can’t guarantee which one took the picture. It is from roughly 1967 perched on a rock somewhere in Indiana. I suspect the person next to me with their face turned away is my sister Lynne but I couldn’t guarantee that.

It feels weird to find an image of yourself and not remember where, how or what that image was about. As if a ghost had suddenly appeared with your image and was there.

Memories are tricky. If the moment wasn’t sticky sometimes your mental house keeping process puts them off into distant storage and then eventually they are lost forever.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

A little sad, a little happy and in the end just want to be tucked into bed one more time…


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slidetray009

Two pictures today. When I was little I was terrified of thunderstorms. But my father wasn’t. When I was tiny he was ten feet tall. He never got any smaller. He would tuck me into bed and tell me it was simply giants bowling. Later he would talk about cold air masses and warm air masses colliding and the release of energy.

I remember fondly dad saying good night and tucking me into bed.

He was always there to cheer us up.

I have looked over the past few weeks at thousands of pictures taken by my father and by his father my grandfather and these two actually made me sad, but also made me think.

This picture represents three generations of Andersen’s. My grandfather took the picture and my father tucking me into bed at night.

The next photo floored me when I found it.

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I have seen this bend in the river in many of my grandfathers pictures. The only known picture I have of my Uncle Rick (he killed himself when I was very little or before I was born). But this picture means so much to me I can[‘t find the 1000 words every picture has in it.

This picture represents my father. He was always there when things went bad for me (as my mother was and my grandparents and sisters were). But it shows so much of what a father and son go through. Sometimes as fathers we have to put our children first (as I am physically in this picture). Sometimes we have to stand back and let them fail even though in the end it hurts us more that they fail than it would ever hurt them. But we always need to be a guiding hand.

My father was a great man. He did things outside our home that were amazing. He helped build the IPST program in Thailand and loved to teach science. I will never forget going to schools later in my teaching career (as a STAR trainer for the State of Indiana) and in every case people would stop me and say “Are you Hans Andersen’s son.” I always proudly answered yes and as you see from this picture it meant something for both os us. If I may dad I would like to say sometimes.

When we were in Ireland in 1972 dad went to have a drink at the local pub near the cottage where we were staying. Dad offered to buy the men at the bar a drink as travelers often do. The men switched from Guinness to Irish Whiskey with the free drink (more expensive but it was free.) They raised their glasses and they toasted John Kennedy. JFK meant the world to my father and the men in the bar said “ah John Kennedy Grand man.” Dad told that story many times over the years.

“Ah, Hans Andersen Grand Man” for you dad.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

All over the place with Grandpa A


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Picture taken by my grandfather in Indiana 1966. In the center of an image is a person parachuting which I suspect was part of some celebration.

The image is old and I was far to young to recall it.

My detailed memories really started when I was about 11 or 12 years old. Moving to Bangkok really turned on the video camera in my head. A constant learning experience.

I realized two things – one that my Grandfather Andersen was around a lot more than I remember. The other thing is that I don’t remember him being around. But the pictures show he was there. Dad saved grandpa’s world war one cavalry bags. I have them, no idea how to display them but I have them.

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The image tray for this one says Europe.

I didn’t know (and actually still don’t know) if my grandpa Andersen went to Europe the picture below screams London. It has the edge markings however of a commercial slide (one you could buy in the years gone by).

Oh well.

At our current rate of scanning I will be posting new slides (because new slides are scanned every day) for the next 60-75 days.

Its an amazing process. A dusty old box with a hand written label moves into the slide scanner and becomes a magnificent image from the past. The sad thing is so many of the slides I don’t remember. The really sad thing is I don’t remember and I am in some of them.

It is nice to reconnect with pictures of me from a long time ago.

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My father always stopped for historical markers. It is a memory from my childhood of stopping and reading the markers (or early on having them read to us). I now however know where that came from. My Grandfather has many pictures taken of historical markers.

Strewn throughout his scenic slides are a number of pictures of historical markers. That’s where dad got that from his own father did that.

I love these old images. Some of them more than 50 years old. Most of them haven’t seen the light of day since 1973 or earlier. 40 years in darkness only to spring to life again.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.