My parents are in their seventies. They're retired. This holiday season my mom mailed me two old photos. The photos are in bad, bad, shape. I've been working on one of them. The colors were badly distorted and the picture looked extremely grainy. I am far from a photoshop expert, but I was able to improve the photo quality tremendously with the little bit I do know.
Here it is:
That's me in the blue dress, being held by mom. Man, she was HAWT, wasn't she? All my life, I've wished I got her height. I'm guessing I was about 18 months old at the time of this photo. My paternal grandmother is holding the dog, my paternal grandfather is next to me. The little boy is my older brother, the girl next to him, my older sister. My great grandmother is pictured next to her.
I'm assuming my dad is the one who took the photo. It looks like it was taken at my grandparents home in La Canada/Flintridge. For you non-Californians, La Canada is an upscale neighborhood not far from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
I could tell you stories upon stories about my family (and Briefcase's) and the stories would make you laugh and cry. The problem is, my family members do NOT like their lives written about on the Internet. Imagine that! It's really too bad because there is so much great writing material there. (Briefcase's family doesn't even know I write and it's best left that way!)
I can tell you a little bit about the people in the picture though. My grandfather (wasn't he handsome?) was a gangster. He did quite well for himself too, and there is even a street named after him (in a city I won't disclose). He didn't go around killing people (I don't think), but he did get involved with some illegal shenanigans in the gambling world. He became quite wealthy as a result.
Should I use parentheses a few more times, or have you had enough? () () I really seem to like them today!
Where did the money go? Who knows … but it was long gone, many years ago.
Apparently, at one point my grandparents had lots of "help" in the form of servants. By the time I came into existence they had downscaled to just the use of a housecleaner. From the stories I've heard, they lived a country club lifestyle. They had two children; a daughter as their firstborn, and then my father. Their relationship with my dad was rocky for many years. As a teen, he left home and lived with his best friend's family. Later, when my dad was an adult, their relationship was reconciled.
My grandfather died when I was about ten years old. My grandmother was a strong and independent woman. His death nearly crushed her initially, but she pulled herself together and went on with her life in a manner I've always been proud of. She did a lot of volunteer work, including spending many hours reading to the blind. She signed herself up for tours and traveled the world all by herself.
Traveling the world alone as an elderly woman was not common place in her day. I've always admired her courage, spunk, and independent spirit.
How about you? Do you have a grandparent or relative who made a strong impression in your life?