Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I discovered an old blue suitcase when we moved my mom earlier this year. It was a suitcase full of treasure. Not a kind of loot I could take to the bank, or sell at an auction...the kind of treasure that has no estimable dollar value. The kind of gold that makes your heart skip a beat- and then beat 3 times faster.

The kind of treasure which gives proof to all the stories you heard as a child.
I found a suitcase full of negatives.
Like any good treasure I had to sit for hours and sort though piles of stuff. Ages spent looking at one reversed image after another. My mom was born in 1950 and I had never seen a photo of her taken before 1953. My grandparents were, supposedly, mad and smoochy in love when they ran away to get married. Grandma was 17 and I think Grandpa was 19 or 20.

mom, summer 1950

Grandpa was in the service and they went to Hawaii when my mom was 8 or 9. I saw her grass skirt a long time ago, and held her Hawaiian baby doll with long black hair and dark skin when I was a small child. I think mom still has the Hawaiian baby doll, but many other things disappeared in the divorce, and in the 3 moves from the big house my family owned, before it too was lost. The old blue suitcase survived though.

There were images of my grandparents I had never seen before. I believe there are a few pictures of my great grandmother who was a half-blooded American Indian. (Blackfoot maybe?)
I will ask my mom if she knows who they are...but I have to wait. I'm presently having the negatives scanned ($5.00 each!) and then printed, and I am making a family album for my mom for Christmas.
I can be patient for a little bit longer, but if you want to know what I'm up to these days- here is a little glimpse.

It's my mom, on the big Island, in her grass skirt.
Talk about a treasure!


Skunkfeathers said...

Yep...a suitcase of photo negatives reaching back a couple-three family generations...that's pure gold, Cora ;) Enjoy all the 'finds' you'll come across!

Anonymous said...

fair mayden

i <3 old photos!!!

umm, you know that slide scanners are pretty widely available and cost less than $100 and up... depending on how many you have there, i guess

have fun, and i think it's the BEST present you could possibly make!

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K9 said...

wow that is treasure. i did a similar gift a few christmases ago when i closed down my moms house. i am very tuned into now, when i am at a nursing home and i see these elderly people hunched over and struggling to do the basics of life....once they wee vibrant and in love, sexy and athletic, pistols!

i wish you had told me you needed them scanned i wouldve done it for free!!

awesome post. i like that grass skirt photo

Mayden' s Voyage said...

Skunk- yes, I am enjoying every second of it :)

/t and Ande- I have a scanner, but I don't think it is good enough (or the right kind) to turn the negatives into photos. I did talk to a local photographer who said it was probably best to have these 50+ yr old negatives scanned by a professional...but you might be right. I have at least 30 to 50 more negatives to scan- I'd trust you both with them, even if you wanted me to send 1 or 2 to see how it goes...and I would pay you to do it if you are interested.
Love and hugs to both of you :)

dianne said...

Priceless treasure Mayden,lovely photos of your Mom, what a wonderful thing to many memories and new ones to keep.

Your Mom will love the album, what a lovely surprise and what a sweet thing to do.

I love old photos and have found some at my Dad's house.
I'm sorting carefully through years of possessions as I have to sell his house.
I know from a child that there was a big box of black and white photos and negatives but when Mum and Dad moved from the big house to their smaller townhouse I have no idea where they put the photos ...still searching and I know my heart will beat faster when I find them.
So pleased you are having so much fun with this. xo ♡

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

Treasure, indeed! What a lovely gift for you mum. Love that grass skirt.

Bad Bob said...

Those are great treasures! I have a box of pictures that I got when my dad died. A lot of them are memorable for me. I just wish I knew what memories they held for my dad.

Anonymous said...


if i had
a slide scanner,
then i'd be happy to scan 'em

for the sake of 30-50, though, it might be time and cost effective for you to continue (not to mention the hassle factor) -- if you have hundreds, then maybe...

i know your mom will be delighted!

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The Phosgene Kid said...

That is so cool! I recently came across one of my folk's wedding photos tucked in a book. It was a nice surprise.

Anonymous said...

for a playful mayden

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Mayden' s Voyage said...

/t- xoxoxo~·(•°;o?§§¿o;°•)·<3 <3 <3