A Family Affair | Sisters, Snapshots & Scribbles

Slowly, ever so slowly, I've been scanning old family photos brought back from my grandmother's house. I've really loved sorting through them over the last few weeks. They span across many generations; capturing moments I've lived, documenting stories I've heard and portraying family members before my time. While I'm familiar with many of them, I find myself coming across a stack here and there that I've never seen before. Case in point...

1940s photos 1940s street style

When we used to look at photos together, Gigi usually had a story or interesting tidbit for every photo. Given I've never seen this set before, I sadly don't have a story to tell. But I will say, I never would have pictured my grandmother, Gigi, on bike but there she is on the left, clad in a sporty suit and ready to ride! And on the right, a snapshot of Gigi and her sister, Aunt Vinnie, most likely from their days of Dallas living.

vintage street style 1940s fashion
vintage street style 40s street fashion

I love these two photos in particular. Aren't Gigi's notes on the back of each just the sweetest? Each handwritten to my Papa and mailed in one of many letters adoringly sent while he was away in the Aleutians during World War II.

1940s Texas photo 1940s womens fashion

Family Tintypes

Over the past few months, my fondness for tintypes has grown exponentially. Internet free-time usually ends in a Google image search for tintypes or a dive into a Civil War historical photo archive. Needless to say, when I came across a stack of family tintypes in an old briefcase at my grandmother's house a few weeks ago, I was ecstatic. Not only was it filled with photos, but old historical family records; Revolutionary Era land deeds and lawsuits along with documentation of the move Texas just after the Civil War. Many of the stories I had never heard before.

These are most of the photos, I wasn't able to scan a few of them but perhaps I'll save those for another post. It's amazing to think these tintypes have survived over 150 years. If you look closely at one of the photos, the date 1861 is embossed on the paper frame. They've traveled from Alabama to Texas via covered wagon, passed through the hands of six or seven generations, been stored who knows where and are now residing safely in the home of my parents.

antique tintype tintype 1860s family photos civil war tin types tintype photos civil war tintype photo

A Little Music Mix

Last Sunday, I took a little road trip to visit my grandmother, Gigi, who lives about two hours away. She was being honored as the oldest living member of her church and was lighting the Advent candle for the season at the United Methodist Church she has attended for decades. Naturally, I wanted to be there to celebrate with her. It was a beautiful service. The choir dedicated a song to her and the preacher said a few words as did my uncle. Although she couldn't express it, I know Gigi was moved by the effort.

Music has always been a huge part of Gigi's life. She was an incredible pianist and often played both the organ and piano at her church. But seeing as I didn't go to church too often, I mostly remember what she played at home, a mix of 1930s and 1940s tunes played by ear and gospel music from her Post-It filled hymnal. I also have some really fuzzy memories of her band practice in the living room when I stayed with her as a young girl.

While she can't remember who I am anymore (just a vague sense of familiarity), she can still sing and recite song lyrics. I'll ask her about a song or start humming something and she'll pick it up. It's truly incredible. The human mind never ceases to amaze me.

Today's music mix is a collection of songs she loved combined with those I used to ask her to play for me. Enjoy!

Any guesses at which song was her number one favorite and which one I asked her to play most often?

First Methodist Church

The First United Methodist Church in Marlin, Texas where Gigi has been a member since 1929.