Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Family Resemblance

A few years ago I acquired a box of photographs from my paternal grandmother. She didn't know I had it, and she died without my returning it to her. As my parents were once again on the outs with that side of the family when my grandmother died, the photos are my last connection to her. They are personal photos—pictures of her from her youth, pictures from friends from Russia, numerous pictures of her children and grandchildren, and more—usually with names, dates, and locations written on the back.

From the box came the following images of my father as a child and young man.

There's something about the contrast in this photo that I just love. My father is at the far left; my aunt Toni is at the far right. (Isn't she beautiful!) The oldest boy is my uncle Jack, and the youngest boy is my uncle Greg. I'd love to know more about this picture, but my grandmother didn't write anything on the back of it.

This picture does have a brief description: it's my father with a neighbour girl. So the setting is somewhere in Riverdale. I don't see my father in this child, but I love the period clothing. And wow! The neighbour girl looks like she could have walked off the set of a WWII movie.

This picture carries the brief description "Sash." (I love Russian and the many diminutives of personal names.) I'm guessing this photo is from my father's high school days. This is one of my favourite pictures of my dad.

Today I'm grateful to my grandmother for this tiny legacy. There's so much life and culture in her photo box. I wonder what the grandchildren of the future will do with our troves of digital images?

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