Friday, May 24, 2002

No posts yesterday as I was traveling all day long. I landed in Grand Rapids at 4:30 and had dinner with two old friends from college: Jill and Michelle from Grand Valley State University, where I spent the first, beer-saturated year of my college education. After that I figured out that college cost money and decided to stop drinking and start studying. Thank God, because I am now a viable member of society.

So I am staying here at my dad and stepmom's house - it feels funny calling her my stepmom because she is equally a parent to me with my own mother. They have a warm, inviting, cluttered old house that they have made many improvements on since I was last here two years ago. An absolutely gorgeous bedroom/bed. Beautiful paint colors. It's really nice.

I took pictures of the exterior today - it's been resided and now it's not a dirty, salt-stained white anymore. It's shiny and new.

Dad has an arsenal of old family pictures he's been showing me. As soon as I get the time I will post them on the web because they are so wonderful and fascinating. People didn't travel in the 30s and 40s they way they do today, so it isn't just a collection of snapshots of them in front of some tourist trap. Their houses, their cars, their everyday clothes - all are in these pictures and all show evidence of what these people were really like. Some of them were taken at events like the death of my great-grandmother, who was a tiny, elegant lady with an amazing face. You can tell in those pictures how each person is responding to the death individually - my grandfather isn't even looking at the camera but sort of staring off into space and his body language is amazing. There are scans of old tintypes and daguerrotypes, faded photos, sepia tones...all somehow show more about what the people were really like than our modern color-blasted photography.

Best of all, my father has the camera that Grandpa used to shoot these pictures, and he's told me he decided to give it to me. He wants me to have it. It has a bellows. One of my photog friends might be able to fix it. I hope so.



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