Listen to Old Photos, They Tell Tales of Hope

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“Look at the people in very old photographs. They are gone forever, but they still can give us messages with their eyes, they still can touch our hearts with their looks and they still can give us courage.” – Mehmet Murat Ildan”

This is my favorite photo of my maternal grandparents, Lila and Arnold Connelly.

I just recently discovered this photo and it’s fun for me to think of them as they must have been back in the 1940s, since my perception of them is very, very different.

When I was very little, I used to call them “Grandma & Grandpa Pinecone” because when I visited them, I got to climb the pine trees behind their house.

Here, they were a young, gorgeous couple, just starting their life together. ~shared by @markbschlemmer

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We’re all Ghosts

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We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us. – Liam Callanan

This is my grandfather, Jim Sexton, as a young man.

My grandfather would grow up to be part of the amazing crew that built the massive “Big Walker Tunnel” in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. The tunnel made history in the early 1970s as the most expensive single project undertaken on a Virginia interstate system. Driving through it takes you inside the mountain, nearby an Appalachian Trail segment.

He was ambidextrous, loved playing the guitar and was a father of eight children.

Sadly, I was the last grandchild he got to meet as he passed away a few weeks after I was born.

My father filled my heart with memories of my grandfather.

And I’m ambidextrous just like him. 🙂 ~ shared by @tssex

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Finding Family History in an Old Scrapbook

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The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are. – Maya Angelou

My Grandfather played baseball all over the South. He played for the Negro Leagues, for the Army when he was enlisted, and for many Minor League teams. If there was a team, he was on it.

He has a big scrapbook of all his baseball achievements, including newspapers and photos. I’ve known about this book since I was a teenager and even took one of his recruitment letters from when he tried out for the Brooklyn Dodgers to show-and-tell as a kid.

Recently, I asked him for the book so I could digitize everything in it and he happily obliged. There were many photos I had never seen before, including this one. ~shared by @meintrinsically

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Home Means More than a Place

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“Home” means more than a place. Home houses our family stories.

My grandparent’s house is high on my list of places I love to be. As I was digging through some old photo albums under the bed, I found this.
This portrait of my grandmother dates back to 1941, when she was in her twenties.

She has never been a very sentimental person, so it is difficult to come across good pictures of her, which is why I was so excited when I found this one.
She stands at only 4’10. Have you ever heard the expression, “dynamite comes in small packages?” It’s definitely true when it comes to my MaMaw! You know it as soon as you meet her.

She always wears a broach and her diamond ring, but she also always has the phrase “you dirty buzzard” at the tip of her tongue, ready to toss out whenever someone does something she doesn’t like.

She taught me to be strong and independent, as well as beautiful.

She was named “most beautiful” in her graduating class at her small town Louisiana high school. You sure can tell from this picture. ~shared by @kuhlair

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Your Story Started Before You

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Your story started before you.

My grandmother Nina and her friend Sybil, circa 1920.

The young lady on the right is my grandmother, Nina Mae Reinecke. She was born in Pomona, Illinois in 1902. Her father was a German immigrant, and she was the oldest of three girls. She met and married my grandfather (after he returned from WWI) on Christmas Eve of 1924.

They had three children, who were raised in Murphysboro, Illinois. Their oldest son (my uncle) was a German POW during WWII, after his B-17 was shot down (he returned home safely). Nina passed away in 1984, when I was only 11 years-old. Even though I only saw her about twice a year growing up, I have fond memories of her home in Jacksonville, Florida, the town where she and her sisters spent their retirement years.

I remember how tiny she felt when I hugged her, her 1950s dinette set, the smell of cigarettes, the play-dough she kept in a dresser drawer for me and my sister to play with on our visits.

Even though it was for a relatively short time, I’m glad I got to spend time with my “granny”, who was a very special lady, indeed! ~shared by @retronan

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Our Family Legacy Breathes Life into our Future

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Our family legacy breathes life into our future.

This is my Grandma, Anne, jumping her horse “Red Spinner.” This is one of my most cherished photos of my Gran. She is an experienced horse woman with lots of stories to tell.
She often recounts the horror and excitement of her time hunting on Dartmoor, an area of moorland in South Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, this beautiful area covers 954 square kilometers. Dartmoor abounds with myths and legends. It is reputedly the haunt of pixies, a headless horseman, and a mysterious pack of “spectral hounds.” It has inspired artists and writers, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Agatha Christie.

To me and my family, riding and hunting on Dartmoor is one of the best ways to get to know the moor, and to learn to ride with respect.
My Gran taught me almost everything I know about horses and the peaks and valleys of the horse world – from hunting, to running and jumping. ~shared by @elliott_th

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Dreaming of Floating Away on an Old Photo

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Dreaming of floating away on a cold winter day. “The Donut.” This photo was taken at my maternal Grandparent’s house in the 1960s.

My Grandfather, Papa, built pools for a living. So, they built their own pool after they decided to put down roots in San Antonio, Texas.

Of all six grandkids, I was the only one who was scared of the water, so I always wore a donut.
I could dog paddle, which I must have learned from my Grandparent’s cocker spaniel, Skippy. Skippy swam laps in the pool every day.

My Grandmother’s technique for teaching the kids to swim was to hold them in the water by the seat of their swimsuit and tell them, “now start paddling.” Once you achieved a nice strong paddling pattern, she’d let you go and you’d be swimming. She’d stay with you until you got the hang of it.
My Dad liked to float on his back and tried in vain to teach me. He’d lightly hold me under my back, tell me to relax my muscles, and then would slowly remove his hands. Then, I’d sink faster than a block of cement. ~shared by @srtruex

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Honor your Stories and Tell Them Too

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If you don’t recount your family history, it will be lost. Honor your own stories and tell them too. The tales may not seem very important, but they are what binds families and makes each of us who we are. ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Meet Betty Jean and Carol Dean Patterson. My grandparents. This photo was taken in 1950, the first year their marriage.

My grandfather was Chief Petty officer in the Marines and my grandparents moved to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1963, where they raised two children, one of whom was my mother.

Many years later, my grandmother moved to Florida and worked as a bank teller, eventually managing the bank.
She lived with my family and helped raise me. She was the most loving, patient, hardworking woman I’ve ever known. ~ shared by @jollymean

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Make Music, Sing Songs, Share Stories

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We make music, we sing songs, we share stories of those who came before us. Their tune is our legacy.

This is my “Aunt Foot,” as I’ve always known her, but her birth name was Hattie Brown Mosley.

I look at this photo on my Mom’s piano every day as I practice, and it inspires me to keep on pressing on.

She was one of my great grandmother’s younger sisters and she taught at several schools in Mississippi. I’ve always known her as the senior musician in the family. (Patrice P. Eaton is garnering national attention for her lustrous mezzo-soprano, dramatically “affecting” portrayals and great versatility across the range of operatic and concert repertoire. A passionate exponent of the African-American spiritual tradition, Ms. Eaton is a founding member of the internationally-acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble, and is a soloist on the Ensemble’s live recording, Ole Time Religion.) ~ shared by @patricepeaton

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