I’ve mentioned before that I’m not allowed to play with adhesives. Let’s just say that there were mishaps, incidents and accidents. My life is much less complicated if I avoid them.
Something else I’m not allowed to play with? Curling irons. I haven’t used one on my hair since the ’80s, or as I like to call it, the Decade of Heinous Hair. On Saturday, my daughter came over and while she was here, she turned two adorable little girls into zombies with the aid of an curling iron she’d left her in old bedroom when she moved out. They were headed to a Halloween party at the zoo. The clip on the iron broke while she was using it, so she left it on the counter to cool off.
|That’s my mother, in the early ’50s I think, on the left. She is rightly wearing a swim cap in the ocean.
I’m on the right–hello 1975! There is absolutely no excuse for those curling-ironed bangs.
I wish I’d been wearing a cap on dry land, because that hairdo is a hot mess!
I was charging my camera battery so I could photograph the kids trick-or-treating with the animals. As I packed up my gear, I remembered to go get my charger. No offense to her, but my youngest tends to leave a bit of a trail. Seeing that the broken curling iron was still on the kitchen counter, I decided to dispose of it. I found out about ten seconds too late that my daughter unplugged the wrong thing, right as I picked it up by the wrong end. My battery wasn’t hot, but that curling iron sure was.
As my son so eloquently put it, I bear equal responsibility. Who picks up a instrument of torture by the hot end? The answer: A distracted, frazzled nincompoop like me, that’s who! I assumed she unplugged it. Ass. U. Me. On the upside, I learned how talented my pinky is. The little sucker has been overpowered by my other digits for years, but when the chips were down, the Pinkster rose to the occasion as best it could.
Six days later, I’m finally able to type with my right hand again, which is great because you’ll never hear the word ambidextrous and my name uttered in the same sentence. Since I couldn’t do much with three blistered and burned fingers, and it doesn’t require a lot of manual dexterity, Pinky talked Ring Finger into joining in an Instagram forum called, #jj_family_matters_03. The requirements were to take a photo of a vintage family photograph and run it through the Instamachine.
I treasure the collection of family photos that my parents have collected and protected, so I thought why not try one and see how it goes. 15 photos later, I had posted a good part of my family tree for all the world to see. I got carried away had so much fun, I thought I’d share some of it with you today.
In the beginning, there was this cast of characters on my father’s side:
That’s my great-grandmother. She was born in the 1890’s and by the time she was 21, she’d had four boys in 18 months, bless her heart. She became widowed not long after the youngest son was born. My grandfather is second from the left, his identical twin is second from the right. They all look like trouble to me. Around the time of this photo, my GGM remarried.
My great-grandfather adopted the boys and although they never had children together, because they never did the dirty, it seems they did have a pet:
They were a more-the-merrier kind of couple. Popular and active in social circles, they each had a list of superlatives and achievements a mile long. A book by their town’s historical commission is in the works, and since both of them were instrumental in the development of the city in their own way, they’ll be a part of it. So will their house. It was a wealth of Spanish Colonial goodness, that one. It’s where my love affair with the architectural style began.
My grandfather grew up to be a looker with a bad habit. Damn those cancer sticks:
He met and married my gorgeous grandmother:
Those cheekbones! I’m pretty sure she’s only wearing lipstick and powder. I never knew her to wear much more than that, at least until drawn on eyebrows became all the rage. That was a special time in beauty history, but still, my ’70s bangs were worse. Gawd awful worse.
There is no way my grandparents had sex either, so I’m pretty sure my father was conceived through hand holding or dancing. My grandfather liked to dance, so it was probably that. Look at all the grownups standing around admiring the first grandchild:
It really is a miracle how this family was able to expand so much while remaining celibate:
They deserve a medal. There are a couple of kids missing in this photograph.
On my mother’s side, the story goes back a little further. My grandfather is styling in his overalls and newsboy:
My maternal GGF may be part illegal immigrant and part Civil War vet. He fought for the Union as a teen. My parents have his military records to prove that part of the story, and legend has it that he stowed away on a ship that was headed to New York from his native Spain. From what we can tell, he was about 15 when he arrived in the US, lied about his age in order to join the service and citizenship soon followed.
They keep better records in Europe than we do, so I think Lisa Kudrow should send me over there for a few weeks so that I can do some research between tapas and Cava binges. Why not have a non-celebrity edition of Who Do You Think You Are?, which, I just found out by linking to it, has been canceled!!!
Go watch all three seasons anyway. It’s good fun. Emmitt Smith’s story is really fascinating and Rashida Jones’ journey mirrors Hub’s, with the exception of having Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton as his parents, of course. His squad was not that mod. Watch Rob Lowe’s episode, just because.
After the war, my GGF married and moved to the south. The deep south. I’m sure that was a culture shock. I have to readjust myself every time I go through the town they lived in, because it’s still a little backward. It was there that he met Saint Grandma (StGMa). I don’t throw that term out lightly; she was an amazing woman. It would be one thing if it was just me saying it, but every person she ever met felt the same way. She was the family compass:
They had to cross the state line in order to get married, because my grandmother was a bit young. (Way older than in the picture, perv.) The story is that a cow witnessed their wedding vows, but I haven’t seen the hoof print on a marriage license to prove it.
My mother’s parents didn’t have sex either, at least eight times that I’m aware of. They weren’t big on dancing, so it had to be from holding hands. Or maybe it was from kissing, but that’s it. They kissed their way to 6 girls and 2 boys.
Here they are before my mother was born. StGMa was so angelic that her halo was too big for the camera lens:
You can’t photo chop that brightness away; I wouldn’t want to.
Somewhere between the sixth and eighth child, they held hands. Nine months later, my mother was born. My grandfather had gone out to get the doctor, but StGMa had her seventh child at home. She shooed the other kids out of the room, and gave birth to my mother without making a sound. I know this because my aunt remembers everything, plus she was standing outside the door with her ear pressed up against it. She asked StGMa what the sound she heard was, and she told her it was nothing, just a kitten.
I know, right? She was in grade school here. Gah!
One time, in high school, I took her to a concert with me. Some friends were there that hadn’t met her before. They wanted to know if we wanted to go out with them. I told them that I didn’t think my father would appreciate that. It’s true. He wouldn’t have.
Anyway, my dad is kind of shy so there was no hand holding, kissing, or dancing, but after riding together in a car with a bench seat, my parents had two adorable daughters. One of them was me:
I’m the baby. Sometimes, my hair still looks like that. On a recent trip to Cali, I went out for the day and when I got back to the hotel, I had to go to the front desk for something. The desk clerk asked me if it was windy in Montecito. I said no, but I was curious as to why she asked. I found out why when I got back to my room. It looked like ^that,^ but bigger. A lot bigger.
During my Instafest, it occurred to me that the vintage theme applies to me now. At least in design terms. I hope I make it to antique status:
That’s my sister on the left. She’s of a slightly older vintage than me. It’s all I’ve got for solace dear readers reader, so please don’t take it away from me. Look at us. Her hair behaves beautifully, while I’ve got a 45° Alfalfa Switzer thing going on. It will be on my tombstone: Here She Lies, Always a Hair Out of Place.
That applies to my personality, too.
We pinky-swore not to hold hands, kiss, ride in cars with bench seats or dance with boys, but somehow we ended up with six children between us. One of them unplugged my camera battery and left her curling iron plugged in instead. I picked it up by the barrel to throw it away, and burned my fingerprints off. That’s how a photo of a photo of my overall and newsboy cap wearing grandfather, and his family ended up being featured on Instagram.
Don’t you just love long short stories?