On a recent trip to my parent’s home on the Virginia/Tennessee Border, I had the great pleasure of digging through a box of very old photographs my parents had found in a closet. They discovered them while emptying out bedroom closets to paint. The photos were of the smaller variety—some only 2 inches by 3 inches, many with elaborate scrolled cutouts around the edges, all but a few in black and white, and most with a white thin border around the edges. While many were from my childhood, the majority was from my father’s childhood—and was pictures I had never seen before.
As someone who loves this kind of adventure, I was delighted—as was my youngest daughter. My dad, daughter and I examined each picture, inquired “Who is that in the picture?, “whose house is that?”, “when was this taken?” to “Look at this old car”—on and on. At one point, my very dear father stated with a measurable degree of angst—“If only someone had written down who is in the picture.” I sadly understood. As time evolved we were able to, as a small family, identify most of those in the pictures. That was when I realized it was time for someone to document these for my children’s generation.
I marveled at the difference in information capabilities—an era predominated by black and white photos, information preserved in memory and by hand verses today’s ability to transfer old photos to digital images, upload them to an online vendor who will allow creation of a bound book for preservation. Yes, in many ways—it is time to utilize the information tools we have to make our world better.