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Ma Grandmere

When my grandma passed away, I received this small envelope full of photos. I have just now begun to scan them in... for fear that I will do something dumb like misplace them forever.

these backs say "don't mind the hat/At the Hialeah Race Track Derby/ March 5 -37"

"lucy 17 thuribe 16 marie ange (ma grandmere)14 placide 13 Fall River, Mass./ July, 1927"

"Marie Ange 14 yrs old/ continuation school pic nic Fall River, Mass./June 1927"


In documenting this part of her life that I really do not know anything about, long before my dad was born, I try to imagine her life, piece together what I can glean from the expressions and the notations that I see on and in those photos.

Unlike other portraits that I've seen from the 1920's and 30's, she's smiling. They aren't candid photos, per se, but they do seem relaxed-- like she really enjoyed being photographed. And why not? Some of the photos are stunning... totally pin-up status.

Combined with it being the age of the digital camera and photos snapped drunkenly on iPhones and posted to immediately to Facebook, and the fact that I can't take a decent photo to save my life, having and holding these photographs is like having a special artifact or treasure-- the heavy paper, the monochrome tones, and my grandmere's script on the back-- and I just wanted to share them.

Au revoir, Grandmere. Vous me manquez.

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