It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. No flowers to shoot, and the weather is dull and grey, much as my mood. February has sunk into my bones like the chill of a icy winter’s day and I long for some sunny weather to take hold. There is much to trouble me, although I am not at liberty at the moment to post publicly about it. Suffice it to say, the term black sheep cannot begin to describe my angst.
Yesterday however, I received a delightful email from my mothers cousin. He is my first cousin once removed, I believe, being the child of my grandfathers identical twin brother. But he happens to be in possession of some of my grandfathers old photographs, and I cannot begin to describe the joy I felt in looking through them.
My grandfather was a wiley sort. He was a North Dakota farm boy, and being an identical twin with a hankering for mischief, you can imagine what sorts of things he got up to. There was the story about he and his twin at the age of 7 or so climbing up on top of the barn roof, and staying there all day while they watched everyone below searching the fields for them in an increased state of panic. Such were the things of daily life. But as he grew older, he decided he was not content to be a “farm boy,” and after a rather stout disagreement with his father, he packed his bags and hitched trains to the west coast where he bunked with his father’s sister–who happened to be a teacher–until he graduated high school–he was 16 when he left.
He made his way to Fairbanks Alaska, where he worked cutting roads with high pressure water hoses. He unearthed two woolly mammoths doing this work, and stopped long enough to cut a portion of the pelt from each of them to bring back with him.
I don’t know where he got into photography along the way. But there are many pictures that are simply amazing. The one I’ve included in the post he obviously didn’t take, since he is the subject, but it is quite interesting all the same. The other photos are of things around Alaska that he found interesting. I guess that is how he ended up doing reconnaissance in WWII; his love of photography. I am saddened by the accident of his death. His plane crashed upon a coral landing strip on Bougainvilla Island in the South Pacific, and the details of the crash are stomach turning. My mother was not even born yet.
But I feel like the love of photography somehow made it’s way to me, passed down by the Grace of God.