Wander project what my father saw…

As the family history project went along the images sometimes weren’t even upside down. In part, this was because some of the slides were in really bad shape. Being 40 and 50 years old and stored, watertight, but still with air doesn’t bode well. Some of today’s images from the Scenic 6 folder are faded. The natural colors captured all those years ago gone. I would say after 40 years we lost about 4% of the pictures. We didn’t skip scanning them, and we just struggled to get anything usable. Still, some of the pictures turned out well. It has to do with the fact that slides and still pictures have chemical treatments on them. Those chemicals begin to decay with the addition of time.

By the way, the worst thing for photo longevity or slide longevity is the grease on human fingers. That causes decay quickly. As does time itself, the very march of the thing we try to capture with each picture. Sorry about the sideways, and upside pictures. The problem we ran into with some of the slide trays was that the slides had begun to come apart. The other part of the slide creation process is the application of glue. The glue holds the line itself in place. The glue is between the two sections of cardboard (and later plastic) used as the slide frame. During the storage process if they, the slides, even get a little moisture the glue begins to separate and lose its gluiness, or I guess best said its sticky!

If you have old pictures scan them. Four copies of digital pictures can’t all be lost at once (have one in the cloud!). But one copy of pictures can be destroyed forever.

My guess, looking at the pictures that these are of Niagara Falls (upstate New York, and well Canada). There is a nice sunset image that we were able to save. We could, use photo restoration on some of these pictures. Someday one of the kids may do that. I can’t, for me, the connection to my father is to the images as scanned. The connection isn’t sharing them; dad didn’t share a lot of his pictures with anybody. He loved taking them, but most of them were never shared with anyone.


what my dad saw

wander project images from my fathers eye (16)

Both of my grandfather’s loved Golf. My father, not so much. I never played golf with my father’s father, but I did many times with my mother’s father. Avoiding, names of course because that presents an issue in the modern security world. But there are a couple of pictures of golf courses. This the second blast of pictures from the scenic five folders. These are probably from that time before I was on the scene, or I was very young.  One of my happiest childhood memories, when I was a little older, was wandering to the Lake Ripley Wisconsin Country club and learning golf. I was never very good as a golfer, but I love hitting the ball. I also loved spending time with my grandfather.

We talked, all 18 holes, and sometimes we would stop at the 19th hole for a soda. When I was first learning, I got to hit from the nearer tees. But that was soon not the case, and I was made to hit from the furthest tees. I could drive the ball a good distance, I just never had a short game. You have to have the short game to be a good folder. As the famous golf line goes you drive for show, you putt for dough. I never could chip. I could putt. I spent several summers at a Bloomington Indiana Putt-Putt. Back when miniature golf was first exploding in the US. Not the miniature golf where you were putting into a clowns mouth or trying to snaky you way through a huge windmill.

Rather, just straight angles and bouncing the ball off the walls, to make it into the hole. There were tournaments and all sorts of events, and a good friend of mine was the course manager for a couple of years. My putting continued to get better. The rest of my game sadly never improved. I guess I was never destined to join the PGA tour. Or for that matter, be a good golfer. I just enjoyed hanging out with my grandfather. I suspect he enjoyed my company as well. I doubt he was watching my game to get pointers to improve his game. I still have golf clubs but don’t go out very often. The local recreation park has a nice driving range, I’ve been there once in the past six years.


golf is not a good walk spoiled

wander project things my father saw 16

A few upside down pictures again, my apologies it is not meant to drive people crazy. Dad, as has been said many times loved being outdoors. The pictures here are from Wisconsin and possibly Michigan. I don’t know if the large body of water is Lake Michigan or Lake Superior. Dad loved both and we spent many vacations in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The UP as Michiganders calls the Upper Peninsula. Is a the disconnected part of Michigan. It is the only land connection (the UP) between Michigan and Wisconsin. On the southern side of the two states, there is Illinois on the southern border of Wisconsin and Indiana on the southern of Michigan.

Between Michigan and Wisconsin sits the Great Lake, Michigan. Over the years we went to Northern Michigan many times. Traverse City, was a location and destination. I remember my mother raving about the whitefish she got in Travers City. We left Traverse city to take the Ferry to Beaver Island. Beaver Island is a large Island in the upper part of Lake Michigan. On the side is the UP. The UP borders Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. There is a state park nestled in the UP called Porcupine Mountain state park. We went there for a summer vacation one year. It was an interesting vacation, one of the things my father and I tried was canoeing on Lake Superior.

The reality of that canoeing event was we learned why canoes do better on rivers and lakes that don’t have waves. The other big thing from that trip was the interesting hobby of the locals. It was of those things you hear about, you smile, but you have to experience personally. It was not one of those things that you don’t do, and know about. It was a do, to understand the event. Going to the city dump, just outside the state park, and watching the Black Bears. You sat in your car; you shouldn’t mess with feeding bears and watch. Several locals told us it was the big event every day. We sat there a couple of times, and eventually, we get to the pictures o the Black Bears at the dump!


sharing dads pictures

Wander project what dad saw 15

Upside down and katywhompass are the modes of today’s pictures. The lawyers told me for the twins in my life (the law firm of Dewey, Cheatum and the newest partner Howe) that in fact, forcing twins to scan pictures that they have no connection to is considered unacceptable in 23 countries. Luckily I did find a clause in the Twins contract that pointed out their genetic connection to me, also applies to their grandfather and great-grandfather. That has caused considerable consternation for the twins. They had hoped that they were not related to me (kidding). The word Katywhompass comes from the Jabberwocky series of poems from Alice in Wonderland.

I had an interesting discussion with a couple of folks online about the importance of the images that you didn’t take. I am happy to edit, change and modify any picture that I have taken. I have, using Shutterfly put pictures by me on mugs, coffee cups, beer mugs, and travel containers, but those are images that I took. The ones my dad took are ones I don’t touch. I leave them as they are. I understand that it can be disconcerting at times. The images at times are upside down. If you view Virily on your phone, flip the phone, and if you are faster than the accelerometer of your smartphone, you will see the image right side up. I won’t edit my father’s pictures other than the scanning.

With that, a lot of upside pictures today from the folder scenic 4. All of these are from Wisconsin. The metadata (date, GPS tags, etc.) don’t get scanned with a physical picture or slide. Other than on the corner of the slide itself (the cardboard corner) there isn’t a place that they would include the date. The slide or the picture had, on the outside edge a date. The slide scanner doesn’t get the edge, only the slide. When you scan pictures, you get the edge, so the date is preserved. Sadly in the analog film days, the concept of a GPS tag wasn’t available. So the picture is presented without metadata. It is also presented as scanned, and per my new agreement with the Twins lawyers, I’ve shared their disclaimer!


family sidewise picture sharer

wander project dad’s pictures 14

Images of another Christmas day, tucked in the Scenic #3 folder. It is funny how the memories flow around the moments. I am actually in a couple of these pictures, but the where is lost to me. The disconnection of memory for location is something we struggle with as humans. I have memories of visiting my grandparents on both sides (mom parents and dad’s parents). I spent a lot more time with my mom’s parents as a child than with my dad’s parents. But I do have recollections, moments. What I don’t always have is the connection between that moment and an image. I recall sitting with my grandfather (my father’s father and the TV was on.

There was a basketball game featuring the Chicago Bulls. Previously at Lake Ripley on Thanksgiving, I had learned from my mother’s father that I was a Bears fan now (and would be for the rest of my life). Basketball at that point in my life was a new sport. My father’s father informed me that I was a Bulls fan. I guess I was meant to root for Chicago teams, being born there and all. My love of the Bulls comes from my father’s father. My love of the Bears comes from my mother’s father. Both of my grandfathers loved the Cubs (and disdained the White Sox), and that is something that I have followed. I also love the Chicago Blackhawks, the Hockey team of Chicago and the Chicago Fire, the Major league soccer team.

Over the years I have been to games with all of my favorite teams. All of these memories float around inside my head but aren’t connected to many of the pictures I have. I suspect based on ages of my sister and me, as well as the ages of my two older cousins this was probably 1964 or 1965. We would move down to Bloomington Indiana shortly after these pictures I suspect. Of course, this a Christmas day celebration and many of the pictures were taken by my grandfather even though they were in my father’s slides. He kept the two separate with a few rare exceptions. There is a rare mom picture; she didn’t often like to have her picture taken. Celebrations are always interesting; I just wish I could connect this to memory!



wander project images of my father….

The rules I set for the sharing of pictures was to share them as they are. Not to edit or change them in any way. The reason for that is really that my father and his father didn’t share the pictures they had. Many of the pictures are quite beautiful but have never been seen by another human being. The other side of the family history project was the twins. They scanned 80% or more of the pictures. They, the two of them, would start each morning by feeding the dogs and scanning 20 pictures. Then off to school. Upon arriving home from school, they scanned again. The other reason I don’t modify the pictures is to honor that effort as well. Fist the effort to create the picture in the first place by my father and grandfather. Second the effort to scan them, every day for nearly 14 months by the Twins.

Today we get a few upsides down pictures from the Scenic #2 folder. You can imagine a cold winter morning, having to get out of bed to feed your dog and then, stumbling to the room where the scanner was set up to scan pictures and slides. My father and his father loved Wisconsin. They took many pictures of the scenery of the state. These pictures are of the landscape and world of Wisconsin, as seen through my father’s eyes. I honor the initial creation by not flipping the pictures. I’ve posted the why of not editing pictures several times. I have had several comments (why don’t you flip the pictures. Why don’t you edit the pictures and so on.)

I guess it made me realize that sometimes people don’t read posts. Instead, they are rushing to the comments. They don’t care what you put in the body; they are here to collect their points and move on. It is why this last section is here as a test. I am not the only writer that wonders if people read the last lines of their posts or even the first lines. I don’t edit pictures that I didn’t take. It is to honor as I said above my children that scanned the pictures throughout 14 months. It is to honor both the vision and the memory of my father and my grandfather.  My apologies for the snarky ending, I guess when it comes to sharing pictures I’ve taken the road, less traveled. I don’t know if I am the better for it, just that I took it!


family image (as is) sheerer!

wander project what dad saw dreaded #13

Pictures and images don’t suffer from Triskaidekaphobia! (originally published as the 13th in the what my father saw series)

Yesterday I shared from my father’s Indiana 14 folder. There are only three Indiana folders, Indiana scenic 4, Indiana 14 and Indiana 13. Interesting because today we are seeing Scenic 1. There are some folders called Scenic. These pictures are, by my guess of Wisconsin. My grandfather and father were both taught by my aunt as far as pictures. My grandfather started with a year system and never varied from that. That said, he only took pictures for the last 14 years of his life, so there wasn’t time to develop a new system. My father had at least three different systems over the years. A few folders were by year, a few by specific location and a few titles that made sense to him.

These, the scenic pictures, show the countryside of what was Wisconsin of the late 1950s, or the early 1960’s. The funny thing is that it is farm country. The changes, of course, are subtle to the landscape but huge to the equipment. The last time I drove through that part of the world (Wisconsin Dells) was in 2011. It has been some years now, but the last time I drove through that farm country, it looked like the first time I drove through. I probably was driven through the first time, and I don’t remember that trip. The first time I remember being in the Dells was the infamous non-napping fudge recollection which was probably when I was five years old.

There are pictures of me, younger than that in the Dells. I also remember a bird on my shoulder in my grandparent’s house in the Dells. Its fuzzy memory though and not attached to a specific person or moment. Fuzzy memories are harder because they aren’t aligned. As we get older, I suspect we align memories differently. Hence my father changing his system several times. My grandfather was older when he started taking pictures. My father was still young and beginning his life. My grandfather studied the Wisconsin river, my father loved the scenery of that river as well. They took pictures of the people in their lives, but to both of them, it was the things that they saw in nature that drove them to point the camera!


thanks dad…

wander project dad’s pictures 12

My father’s pictures this time Indiana 14 was the folder name. First off, I don’t have 14 folders called Indiana. I have three, 13, 14 and scene 4. It makes me wonder what happened to the others. Dad stored slides in one of three modes. He stored in the carousel used with the projector. He stored them in the boxes, and he stored them in slide trays. He seems to have named all of them differently which tells me over the years he changed his system of storage. Towards the end, the slides were stored in a watertight container and forgotten. I suspect the last time anyone looked at some of the slides was most likely before they moved from the farm in the mid-1990s.  I don’t think dad ever show my wife slides so it may even earlier than that.

My wife appeared on the scene in 1990. I do remember a slide show in the 1980’s early on period. We had visitors from Thailand, and mom and dad had a party at the farm. I remember someone asking about slides and dad pulling a few slides out from our time in Thailand. By then, it had been 18 years since we had lived in the Land of Smiles. The images though were as fun later as they were earlier. You can’t go back in time, but you remember what was back in time. I guess that becomes the journey. To wander back in time. Still, so many of this picture are 9ones no one, but my father ever saw (most likely 2 or 3 times in total) once when the images were taken.

Once when he reviewed them after picking them up from the store. And probably one more time when he put them in the box and sealed it with packing tape to make it waterproof. It, the box, with slides were then stored in a place that time forgot. I know I had forgotten the slides. It wasn’t until my father asked me if I could convert some of his father’s (my grandfathers) slides into digital files that I remembered all of dad’s slides. I still have the cameras dad used for some of the slides. At one point he had to change cameras, his camera was stolen while we were in Thailand. But I have the replacement and then the quick camera he bought to take faster pictures (point and shoot film camera). But I sometimes wonder when I look at these pictures what was he thinking, and he snapped the picture?



wander project the things my father saw 11

Photography is a connection between the moment, the vision and the photographer. These pictures are from dad’s Indiana 14 folder. They represent, however, three different locations, two in Indiana and one in Wisconsin. Or possibly two in Wisconsin, but in one I know to be in Indian and one I know to be in Wisconsin. The first few pictures are of Springmill State Park. Nestled in the hills of Southern Indiana and a place we visited often. Brown County state part was much closer than Springmill, but Springmill held magic first, because there was a working stone mill, able to grind corn the way they did in the 1800s a magical recreation of the way things used to be.

Springmill also had an Inn, lakes and lots of picnic areas. We have pictures of Springmill all the way back the 1960s. We took my father’s parents to Springmill in the 1960s. My favorite part of going to Springmill was stopping in Mitchell Indiana. There is the home town memorial to an Indiana Hero. Virgil I. Gus Grissom was born in Mitchell Indiana. He died as part of the Apollo 1 launch pad explosion. He was, is one of my heroes. After the Springmill pictures there are a couple of pictures that I suspect are my father’s parents house in Racine Wisconsin. They, my grandparents, moved to Racine from Wisconsin Dells in the late 1960s or maybe 1970.

the I originally thought the last pictures were of Racine and Lake Michigan but I realized they are not. The water and sand are Lake Monroe. The pictures are a little faded but one of them is my father holding my little sister. The picture would have been the summer of 1970, or possible the summer of 1971. The beach is Fairfax beach in Monroe Country (it might actually be in Lawrence County) Indiana. We went to Fairfax beach often. My mother grew up on a lake in Wisconsin. She loved being on the beach, near the water and just having fun near a lake. The picture of dad would have been taken by mom so the pictures today re the through the eyes of my parents not just my father.


what my father saw

Wander project through my fathers eyes 10

In the pictures that my father left I can still see through my father’s eyes. The pictures shared today more of his Wildflowers collection. My favorite memory of my dad outdoors comes from a family trip to Colorado. It was my dad’s dream vacation, staying in a cabin and lots of hiking. We were on the edge of Estes Park that is in the mountains above Denver. Denver is called the Mile high city, so you can imagine how high the mountains that tower over Denver are. Not, having been to the Himalayas and the Andes anything like two mountain ranges. But in North America, they are the highest mountains. Stretching from Canada all the way through the US they are the purple mountains majesty.

I was going to try my hand at fly fishing that vacation. I wasn’t very good, but it did get me out of at least one forced march (I mean hike). The hikes were in the woods and always in search of something. Be a lake with perfectly blue crystal water. Crystal water is different than the water you have in most ponds. At least different than the brown water you can’t see into in most Indiana Ponds. Or the somewhat almost not quite water of Ohio. The Ohio River they say is to thick to Navigate, to thin to cultivate. It is, as far as I know, brown year round as is the Chesapeake Bay by the by. But these lakes you look into and see what was on the bottom. The water was clear.

It sparkled in the pictures — each one, each hike further and further away from our cabin. The forced marches were dad’s vacation. We did get to see Mule Deer and Moose. I got to try my hand at fly fishing. I did manage to hook one trout but wasn’t able to reel it in. I was learning the reality of fly fishing.  There are, and I will share some, many pictures from that vacation. It was a slice of life with my father. I realized two years ago when we went to Europe that I was my father’s son. The twins said “we don’t want to go to x in Amsterdam.” I asked why is that? They said going to any place is just an excuse for you and mom to make us walk more. 23,000 steps virtually every day we were in Europe!


what my dad saw