Of Elephants and dreams of technology…


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For pictures (this one of India) you don’t use Carbon 14 dating you use Car14 dating. In this one the cars are clearly ones from the 1960’s/70’s.

I was never the student mom had been. (or dad for that matter). I found that I could spend hours studying and figuring out something I was interested in. Early on in my academic career though I struggled. Mom always told me that I would eventually find something I was passionate about and then that would change (she was right but please don’t tell her). For me the passion was technology. Not the consumption of things technology (although I do like that as well) but the connection. Mom’s passion was nursing. She could off the top of her head talk about all sorts of treatments and what was being done. Everyone called on mom for medical advice (we still do).

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Scan those old slides and photos. Overtime some may decay. They have a shelf life of 20-25 years. These are more than 40 and you get the occasional obvious damage marks.

Mom organized and came up with the idea for the Hawaii get away last summer. We had a great family vacation that everyone found something to enjoy. Mom said it was her last big airplane trip. I hope that isn’t true. Once, and I remember the days, mom was scared of flying. I think it was as much having all her family on one airplane. She had a special lucky ring she wore.

Now in fairness to mom she was flying with 3 fairly young children at a very different time. You didn’t land and check in with family and friends via cellular phone. When you got there you didn’t check your phone for directions. Different times cause different stress.

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Elephants (India).

I talked about the fact that mom went back to work when we got back from Thailand. We in the course of two years changed everything. Mom went back to work and we moved to a new house. We left behind our first Bloomington house (Sherwood Oaks) and moved into a house in Sycamore Knolls. 1910 Chelsea Court to be exact (we move from 1523 Dunstan Drive). Mom suddenly had a sewing room. Mostly I think because she got a lot of fabric in Thailand and was now collecting fabric. That fabric collection would eventually fill more than a room in the house but that wasn’t for a few years. She could spend her weekends sewing. At first when we got back mom worked on Saturdays so Lynne and I took over making family lunch on Saturday. We had so many parties and events at that house. Sadly it was also the time when mom’s first moody teenager appeared.

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Family Historian

Thanksgiving blessing–memories of greatness…


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The last picture in our collection of Henry O Andersen. This image was from 1972 the year he died. I remember that event. I remember it for two distinct reasons. The first is that dad left Thailand and flew home to say goodbye to his father. I remember that because dad was so sad when he got home. Interestingly later in the year 1972 my parents told me my grandfather had died. it was interesting in that at the moment they told me the song “Alone Again, Naturally” was playing on armed forces radio Saigon.

I didn’t know my grandfather Andersen that well. I have isolated memories that are tenuous at best. I remember him talking about camera’s in particular pin hole camera’s one afternoon in his basement. I remember the cavalry stuff in the basement. I have two saddle bags and the picture of him preparing for WWI. I remember him taking Lynne and I to the park in Wisconsin Dells once as well. But those isolated memories are all I have left. I have in the past 5 months of our family history project seen many more instances of Henry O Andersen in my life. I guess in the end memory is a fleeting thing. Those memories we cling to early in life don’t last into the later years replaced by work and other information.

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Of course now looking back at images from the past I see that they both stood similarly. Arms straight at their sides as if still in the military (they both were). I have a million memories of my dad and I hope some of them came from his father, things that my grandfather may have said that my father picked up and used and later I picked up and used. A memory that would connect us.

In the words of Dan Fogelberg from his song “Leader of the Band” modifying his original thought slightly “I hope I am a living legacy to the two leaders of the band.” I hope I am as good a person, as kind a person and in the end as loving as person as my Grandfather was for my father, and my father was for me.”

I do know that the love of taking scenic pictures with no human beings anywhere near the picture passed from Grandfather to son, to grandson.

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This last image of the great falls of Virginia. Yes one person that I’ve never met couldn’t identify and have no idea who it is is in the picture. The person fighting the falls in a Kayak. I took this picture because of the majesty of the river. I took my family to this spot to read the historical markers. Directly behind where I took this picture is the C&O canal. These falls were a huge reason the canal moved away from the Potomac river in many places. The falls much to difficult to navigate for boats loaded with supplies.

So I do in fact take pictures of scenic spots without people or at least without people I know. I got that via my dad and from my Grandfather.

In the words of my Irish friends “Henry O Andersen was a grand man” I wish I had known him more.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.