I assumed I had seen everything in my late father’s box of photos, negatives and slides that has sat for years in my laundry room. So many duplicates are in the box so it didn’t seem worth my time to sift through the disorganized mess.
My curiosity peaked once again whether there could be an undiscovered treasure in the box. Several years ago, I found a negative for a professional photo of my grandmother as a teenager with her father. My family doesn’t recall ever seeing the photo.
I thought I couldn’t possibly have missed another gem when I found the last photo. With so many negatives in the box, it gets annoying to find the right angle to view them while sitting on the floor.
So I took out my scanner to double-check that nothing was missed. From the glance while sitting on my living room floor, I thought this would be a waste of my time. At least, I would learn how to set the scanner to make the negatives into 21st century jpegs.
But I was curious about why my father mixed in two photos of my mother’s grandfather among rows of photos of his own family for these negatives. My father photographed his favorite family photos for negatives.
Then this photo appeared:
My mother nor I have ever seen this photo. I searched through the few pages of photos of my grandfather in my album. This photo is nowhere to be seen.
Every photo of my grandfather is a gem. My father is the only child of his father. My grandfather was the only child of my great-grandparents to live past childhood. A random cousin can’t appear in the future with photos of him.
Then the next photo in the negative strip didn’t make sense. I have identified it as a photo of my mother’s paternal grandfather from 1917 for years.
Once, I asked myself why would he have a professional photo taken of him in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at the same time he was living in Kiev, Ukraine, I knew I made a big mistake with the photo identification.
My grandfather only was 4 years younger than my mother’s grandfather, thanks to an unplanned fatherhood at 50 years old. Both men had lived in Saint Petersburg but my paternal grandfather is the only logical choice for the 1917 photo.
It took the discovery of one photo to learn that I really do have a photo of my grandfather as a young man. When 21st century technology mixes with the 20th century, the results can be amazing.