Friday, July 12, 2019

Don't throw those negatives away!

Photo 1
The 52 Ancestors theme this week is “reunion.”

On my spring trip home to Georgia earlier this year, Mama told me she had a picture of Daddy that no one had ever seen before. Of course, that sparked my curiosity so she gave me permission to look in her dresser drawers for it. I don’t remember finding the picture of Daddy but maybe that’s because I got so excited about the stack of negatives I found hidden away in her dresser. We sat by the dining room window that afternoon and held them up one-by-one to the light. What I saw was a bunch of treasures I’d never seen before! I brought them back to Virginia with me and started looking for a way to convert them to digital. I spent a weekend looking online for help and then I visited our local Costco photo shop only to find out they didn’t have the equipment to convert negatives. Then I started to think there must be an app I could use to convert the negatives, I mean, isn’t there an app for everything? So, after more research, I found an app called FilmLab. The 99¢ app requires a light table, which I don’t have, so after still more research, I found a person who used his laptop monitor as a light source. I figured if it worked for him, it would work for me. I downloaded the app and after a few tries, managed to get some fairly decent photos from the negatives. The converted photos have a grainy look but I can live with that. Now you’re probably asking yourself what does this have to do with the “reunion” theme for this week. Well, let me know you … thanks to the FilmLab app, I now have a bunch of family photos from the 1960s that I’ve never seen before. And lucky for me, a couple of them fit right in with the theme this week.

The three family photos on today's post were taken in the backyard of our Atlanta, Georgia home on Macon Drive. I estimate them to be circa 1959 or 1960. In photo 1, all but one person are members of Daddy’s family. Daddy (Sam Lankford) is the man standing beside the picnic table. His brother Grover is sitting next to him. Another brother Clark is sitting next to Grover, and their brother-in-law Ralph Epps is sitting at the end in the white shirt. The woman standing beside Daddy is his older sister Lucile Lankford Epps (Daddy called her Sista). The dark-haired woman with the glasses on is my Aunt Willette, Uncle Grover’s wife. Standing beside Aunt Willette is a man you can hardly see wearing a hat. That's my paternal Grandpa, Carroll Lankford. Standing beside Grandpa is my Grandma Floria Burnette Lankford. Standing on the left of Grandma is my maternal Granny, Daisy Shields Vest. The baby in the highchair is my brother Michael, and that’s me standing in front of Michael. The houses in the background belong to the neighbors. I can see the brick BBQ grill in the bottom left corner. I remember Daddy cooking finger licking ribs on that grill—I’d have the sauce running down my arms I ate so many.

Photo 2 was taken under the big willow tree that stood in the backyard at the base of our driveway. You can see my Granny sitting on the left, my brother Michael in the highchair, me with my back to the photo in front of my Grandma Lankford, one of my Epps cousins and my sister Jennifer standing in the back right. The willow tree was big and beautiful. I remember we had an ice storm one winter that killed it. Daddy and probably my uncles Clark and Grover cut it down after it died and I just knew the tree was going to fall on our house (it didn’t). The chair my Grandma is sitting in usually sat on the front porch and was red and white.

Photo 2

Photo 3 is of me, two of my sisters, and my cousins. Standing in the front row from left to right is my cousin Nancy Epps, her sister Linda Epps, and my sister Bonita. In the back row from left to right is my sister Jennifer, my cousin Janice Epps, me, and my cousin Harvey Lankford. The girls are my Aunt Lucile’s daughters and Harvey was Uncle Grover’s son.

Photo 3

The Lankford family reunions were usually held at Grandma and Grandpa Lankford’s house in Penfield and pretty much the entire family came—all eight Lankford children and their families. At some point, the reunions were moved to Aunt Lucile’s house in Bairdstown, not far from Penfield. This wasn’t actually a reunion. Mama remembers that my Aunt Lucile and Uncle Ralph came to Atlanta for a visit and brought Grandpa and Grandma Lankford with them. Since they were in town, my Uncles Clark and Grover came over as well. After all, they both lived close by in Atlanta so it made sense that they would come for a visit when their parents came into the city. It’s not the whole family so I’ll call it a mini-reunion!

Stack of negatives I found
I’m happy I’ve been able to convert the negatives to digital. Until I saw these photos, I never knew my Grandpa and Grandma had been to our house in Atlanta. They lived in Penfield, Georgia, about 85 miles east of Atlanta so would have come to Atlanta with my Aunt Lucile. I do find it odd that Granny was there since everyone else in the photo were from Daddy’s side of the family, but I do remember that she often visited so it’s not so unusual that she was at our house.

Thank you Mama for saving the negatives!

No comments:

Post a Comment