The Family Tree

Old photos keep popping up. Here’s a triple feature, with what is surely the oldest photo I will ever post. That will be the black and white one. Of course. It’s a photo of three or four generations. It was all explained to me, but I’ve forgotten. The babe is arms? That’s my grandad. I introduced him to the blogging world just a few weeks ago. His presence helps date this photo to the mid 1920’s. There was a date on the back of the photo, providing a birthday sometime in 1893 for the gentleman in the shot, my great grandfather. I suspect the oldest lady was plodding around London whilst Abraham Lincoln was sat on his throne in Washington.

Twelve months short of 70 years later, I appeared on the scene. Do you like those collars? They date this photo. Very much the 1970s. The decade of cursed fashion. But fashion can be replaced. Hereditary curses are harder to fix. See that feeble and clearly unsuccessful effort to form a side parting? It doesn’t work. I have a widow’s peak and need to look no further than my grandfather when seeking  the culprit.

I also have two crowns. I don’t know who to point the finger at for those. If my hair is a certain length, I’ll wake in the morning with two devilish looking hair horns. So I try and keep my hair short. The net downside to all this is that I don’t/can’t have a hairstyle, per se. The side parting was soon abandoned for the ‘look’ as featured in the bottom photo. I’m sure you can pick me out by now.

But every cloud has a silver lining. A non-hairstyle is awfully easy to manage. Wash, towel dry, pat down, hit the streets. I don’t remember when I last used a comb. I’m guessing some time in the 1970s, shortly before that photo was taken…



7 thoughts on “The Family Tree

  1. ricardomontoya says:

    I really enjoyed this post with old photographs. Cannot comment about hairstyles as my hair has grayed and never could do a thing with it anyway. The fact that your photos traverse a couple of decades makes this post even more interesting. Wish I had been able to keep all of my family pictures but am glad for those that are still with me, even those that are only lingering memories. Thanks for sharing. And happy holidays to you, Gary.


  2. I had a most incredible experience when I was visiting distant cousins in Switzerland a couple years ago. One of my cousins, an elderly lady, had a large collection of old family photographs. Among them was a photo taken in the 1870s of my great-great grandparents and all their children (including my great grandmother, who was then a young girl). From the date on the photo, it had to have been taken here in Ohio after the family had emigrated to the United States, and then sent back home to the family in Switzerland. It was a very emotional experience to look into the faces of my ancestors from over 140 years ago!

    As for hairstyles… I inherited my father’s curly hair, and if I let it grow it was an unmanageable mess. With age my hairline receded, and I started buzz-cutting my hair and then shaving my head. I haven’t been to a barber in more than a decade!

    Happy holidays, Gary!


    • Memories are a funny thing, though. I pointed the finger fair and square at my grandfather for the cause of the widow’s peak. I have a fairly strong image of him sporting the look. Yet when I looked back at some photos of him after publishing….well by gum I see no such thing. A receded hairline, for sure. But not widow’s peak.

      Have you published any of those old photos on your blog?


      • Yes, I posted the picture of my great-great grandparents with their children on my blog. I took a photo of the photo and it turned out remarkably well. If you click on the category of “genealogy”, “Switzerland” or “Othmarsingen” you will find it at the end of a post entitled “Summer of 2012 – Othmarsingen, Switzerland”.

        What is even more remarkable is that a lady who was searching for pictures of Othmarsingen stumbled upon my blog. She wrote to me and told me that we are third cousins… and she lives only 5 minutes away from me. We now see each other regularly. That in itself made writing a blog very worthwhile!



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