Monday, June 28, 2010


The picture above is of our grandson Andrew when he was a senior in high school -- probably getting ready to go to a prom. I've had the hard copy of this picture residing for a long time in my photo album. Once my computer learning curve got to the point where I could actually figure out how to digitize these photos, I uploaded a goodly amount of them and can look at them with the flash of my fingers on the right keys. These all are from printed photographs.

Now the time has come to do something about all those slides that we took over the years. Although Jerry and I had thinned them out several years ago, tossing out most of the scenery pictures and sorting into logical order the ones of our families growing up, we had to decide whether to send all 380 of them out to be digitized, which was guaranteed to produce good quality but break the bank in doing it, or to buy an inexpensive slide scanner and do it ourselves. We knew if we took on this chore, it would be a long arduous process, but definitely better on our budget. After all, isn't retirement about having lots of time to do things?

I did a bit of searching and found a little piece of equipment under $100 that I thought would work. I assigned Jerry the job of learning how to do the initial scanning and I would use my rather rudimentary Photoshop skills to do what I could to make the images acceptable. So far we are doing ok. He's scanned 80 of them and I am hustling to keep up at my end, although there is really no rush to get them gussied up. I can work on them as I have time.

But here's the fun part. In all the years we've been keeping those slides, we didn't look at them very often. Oh, our intentions were good, but like everyone else with their family history on slides, we never see those images enough to get well acquainted with them like we do with photos in an album. Jer and I had made one Kodak carousel up of family pictures and showed it occasionally at Christmas when the kids and grandkids all got together. Each generation of children (we now have teen-aged great-grandchidren) has gone through the floor-rolling, fist-pounding hee-hawing when they saw their dad or grandpa lying on a towel naked as a jay-bird in the front yard. And although we know they enjoy seeing these slides, due to all the effort of getting the equipment set up, furniture rearranged, and family in one place at the same time, we just don't tackle a "showing" nearly enough. And this, of course, means that when Jerry and I look at these photos as we scan and correct them, we are going through a lot of floor-rolling, hee-hawing too.

The picture of Andrew below is one we had totally forgotten about, as it was on a slide and not on print film with a copy in my album. It captures the essence of Andrew. He has grown up to be a fellow who surprises you with his wit, his visage and his uniqueness. Now in his 20s, we can still see in him the kid who looked just like the star of "Home Alone" and who had the conviction that he knew more than the teachers. (He mostly did.) With this slide digitized, no matter how primitive the effort at color correction and such, this photo will be available for us to enjoy whenever we want!

I'm funneling the photos out to the kids as I finish them. Their parents get one too. I know it will take a long time to get the job done, but I figure barring any complications I can get them all done by Thanksgiving.

Understand, this is not a tedious job for me. It is like having our legacy in my hands and each picture brings to mind good memories and fun times and the making of a blended family. And for Jerry and me, it reminds both of us how much fun we have had in our 35 years together. We did good!

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