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A few years ago, I convinced my mom to give my late grandmother’s box of negatives to me, for a couple of reasons. First, they were just loose in there getting scratched every time the box was moved (which was really only when I visited mom and wanted to dig through them). Second, I wanted to just do some creative projects with them.

As I started to organized them into protective sleeves, I realized there were many images I was unfamiliar with. Had I forgotten ever seeing their positive counterparts, had they never been printed or given away to friends and family long ago? I bought a negative scanner and started digitizing the recognizable images of my grandmother. Then I found a few of my mother and uncles, when they were toddlers and teens.

Grandma with one of her many lapdogs
Grandma Betty Lou
My mother, grandmother and uncle
Grandma, Mom, Uncle Dana, Uncle Darel & possibly a neighbor

Looking back on my family in unfamiliar photos gives me a newness of wonder, mainly because they are not the mundane images I’ve seen thousands of times lining hallway walls. They put my family in different scenes which I now view with more mature eyes and better appreciate their past lives.

Grandma and the dogs
Roadtrip Grandma


My grandmother did most of her traveling before I came along. Through these photos, I get to witness her travelogues, and realize that I have more of her qualities than I ever cared to appreciate while I was younger and she was still alive. The ongoing project is to complete digitizing and restoring the photographic life & travels of Betty Lou.