Wednesday, November 01, 2006
an unusual Way Back Wednesday...
A little background. I am an only child, my parents divorced when I was three years old (my father left my mother for a man). In any case, my father's family in general never got along with my mother after the split (there was a lot of drama at the time). I spent my childhood having two separate everything from Birthday's to Christmas.
My father has one sibling, a sister. She is also my godmother and has never married or had children (she just turned 60 I don't think that is going to change at this point). She was also (and still is) one of those people who always had a camera out and was snapping pictures. And as is often the case with childless Aunts (and Uncles) and especially since I was her only nephew (and godchild) she took hundreds of photos of me over the years. They were all neatly filed away in a bunch of albums and three boxes. Tonight on a whim she gave them all to me, every last photo. Most I hadn't seen. None my mother or immediate family have ever seen.
here are a couple of interesting shots:
(Clicking on any of them will enlarge to full screen,
they are high quality scans)

(me at the beach on the right with my cousin Dean)

(Me, my Nono, Gram and (spinster) Aunt)

(below are my ex wife and I )

(these are after we got married)

(below is the 2nd weekend with my kids after I moved out)

I got very emotional looking at these perhaps 1000 pictures. It was like she captured my whole life and all those who were a part of it, especially my kids when they were little. My mother doesn't have 1/3 the amount I now have. I am so incredibly thankful, and have been scanning like a madman since I got home to make some CD's for everyone. Some of these photos stretch back into the early 1900's (no she didn't take those) like this one of my great grandfather Diego as a (handsome) young immigrant Sicilian. I suspect this photo was taken in 1916. He was 18.

Along with the photographs came letters and even post cards like this one from 1924 from father (Diego aka John) to his son (my Nono) Paolino who was then just 7 years old. Diego died at age 36 in 1934. To this point I only knew of one photograph of him in existence. Tonight I have in my hands 6!! My Aunt didn't even know who he was, but I recognized him in an instant.

Finally I decided I had to put something together for my mom. She is at the moment in Las Vegas and then off to her winter house in Florida but when she gets back home, I am going to give her a cd with this video made from over 100 scans of pictures she hasn't seen before. I chose as background music a song by my late father's favorite artist Joni Mitchell. As a child (he passed away when I was 15) he always carried a cassette to play in the car as we drove. He adored her. This is my own favorite from her extensive catalog. It's called Both Sides Now.

yikes it's 1:10 AM and I have to get up at like 7. I am so high on excitement right now I probably won't be able to sleep so well. Night :)
S4 155
That's an amazing gift - now you are the keeper of the family flame. Loved all the pics - especially the postcard. (And I want that polka-dot tie!)

Blogger madamerouge said...
I like the one of you serving popcorn. ;-)

Blogger Stephen said...
Expect to see a tear in your Mom's eyes, it is an amazing gift.

Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...
Jim, that's an amazing gift your aunt has given you. It's almost as if one of her purposes in life was to record yours. What a great gift you can now pass on to your sons.

Blogger patti_cake said...
Awww that was so incredibly sweet of her your Aunt and equally sweet of you to do for your Mom :)

Blogger Hanuman1960 said...
What a wonderful gift!!

She must have known that they would be in good hands! :)

Blogger Spider said...
What a wonderful treasure you received and what a wonderful gift you are giving... what a lucky man you are!

Blogger dirk.mancuso said...
Your aunt is a treasure in herself not only for documenting your life, but sharing them with you now. I have practically no photos of my childhood or anyone in it, so I am really jealous of your good fortune.

Big hug!

Blogger GayProf said...
Your life and experiences interest me a great deal.

Blogger Ur-spo said...
that was a nice post; I am always one to enjoy family history and photos, with all their sorrows and joys.

Blogger Doghigh said...
You are just the sweetest...

And I would have had SUCH a crush on you if I had ever met you back in the days of your white pants and blue shirts :-)

Blogger Doug said...
That is truly awesome.

Blogger Jason said...
What a sweet post. Those photos are such a blessing that your Aunt gave to you.
Very touching video, Jim. I love Joni Mitchell.

Blogger daveincleveland said...
you have such an amazing gift, and what agift to give her, you just amaze me each time you write your way back posts......truly gifted even i had tears while watching that thinking of my own childhood and past time with my kids that i will never have again....

Blogger Jeepy said...
I remember wearing "short shorts" like you were wearing on the beach! lol
What a wonderful post, looks like you had such a loving and caring family (childhood)

I grew up with 5 brothers and sisters, and dont even have a fraction of the pictures you have.

Jeepy :)

What a treasure trove. Such an amazing gift. And I bet she had no idea what it would mean to you.
So cool.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
family photos are the best! - i love that song!!!

Blogger kevin said...
That is such an amazing gift. It kind of makes you think when you can look back over your life in photos. Treasure them mate.

Now you were a handsome young mah (and of course you still are).

Kevin in New Zealand

Blogger Michael said...
That song always gets to me. What a great collection of pictures! And congrat on getting the albums as well. I wound up losing a lot of family pictures in varied moves I've made over the years and I'm not regretting it a lot.

I'm glad you had a good time at the Opera as well. I"ll try and get ahold of you this weekend!


Blogger JR said...
Oh my! What a fantastic Aunt. What an amazing gift and a great song too. That makes me emotional even. You have always been such a handsome boy by teh way. Thank you for sharing that. That is a once in a life time amazing gift.

Blogger Fourhorsemen said...
very beautiful!

Blogger M- Filer said...
What a great guy. I am so moved by this. Thank you.

Blogger Brad said...
You did a great job. I'm sure your Mom will love it.

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