Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fun with pictures

Yesterday I had coffee with my second cousins, Chris and Craig. They're the grandchildren of my father's aunt, Elma (Johnson) Craig. I always had a particular fondness for Elma; she was my grandfather's sister, but she was a great friend of my grandmother as well, and so while we didn't see her all that often, we were always hearing about her. I had the chance to get to know her a bit better when I was an adult. Anyway, Chris, Craig and I all have piles of photos, and we agreed we really should get together sometime soon and compare them. In the meantime, Craig brought along a very faded old photo. I took it home, scanned it, and did some "restoration," and here is what I came up with:

These are our great-grandparents, Alfred John Johnson and his wife, Martha Ann Street, along with their three sons. (Their daughter, Elma, wasn't yet born.) The "big boy" is the oldest, Lester Alvin Johnson; my grandfather, Olin Street Johnson, is in the middle; and the baby is Gerald Columbus Johnson. We agreed that we've never seen a photo of Grandma Johnson with even a hint of a smile; Craig says his dad told him she was a real sourpuss, and the pictures seem to bear it out. This picture would be dated about 1896/97; Gerald was born in May of 1896, and he looks to be a few months old here.

Back in the early 1950s, after Grandma Johnson had died, Gerald and his wife used to throw annual birthday parties for Grandpa at the ranch south of Sacramento. I have vague memories of these parties, but also some pictures, like this one:

Here's Grandpa Johnson in the center, and the now all grown up children surrounding him--left to right, Gerald, Lester, [Grandpa], Elma, and Olin. Always so interesting to compare "child" pictures with "grown-up" pictures!

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