Does a picture really paint a thousand words? For me, a picture paints a thousand memories. There are many things that I only really remember because I have pictures to document. I saw some pictures in my daughter’s album Sunday of 10-12 of us seated around her dining table with Mad Hatter hats made from paper bags that we had created and decorated. I looked at that picture (and I was in it) and realized I had absolutely no recollection of the event! She was the only one with a picture. It made me wonder how many other wonderful and crazy events in my life are missing from memory because I was not carrying a camera.
After all, isn’t that why we take pictures? To remember? We all have a few pictures of ancestors we never met, and priceless those are to us. I have two favorites, one of my Grandma Bronson who I knew well, and one of my Great-grandma Wilcox who died before I was born.
Not only is this a precious picture of my Grandma Bronson taken in about 1913/14, but it has an interesting story. We have pieced together the information that was handed down, but only Grandma knows all the facts, and she has been gone for over 40 years. Bottom line, she was young when she had this baby, and the baby was raised by Grandma’s parents. My dad didn’t even know of the existence of this older sister until he was almost an adult.
Grandma Bronson’s mother was 20 years old, living at home with her family in Salt Lake City in the late 1800’s, when a young man from Omaha – Charles Emery Wilcox – came to Utah to work on the new streetcars. Eliza’s brother had a rooming house and Charles was staying there. Who wouldn’t be smitten by this beautiful young lady? And of course the rest is history.
Now with everyone packing a cell phone, we have no excuses for having no pictures – unless you are like me – the one taking all the pictures. And I don’t do selfies – short arms, big head, short neck – these all shout “say no to selfies.” So if I am going to be remembered through pictures, I have to make sure I hand off the phone/camera to someone else occasionally. I think through the years I’ve managed to capture the real me!
But one of my pet peeves is that with all the digital photos, most are on a phone, a computer, or a backup system. They are often not printed out and put in books anymore – and I think that’s a shame! I love when my grandkids gather around my photo albums to laugh, chat, and remember. After all, that’s what photos are for, right?