This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

My grandmother at age 16

Today is my grandma's birthday. I don't remember much about my other grandparents, but she lived a long time, and was a big part of my life. We kids had an expression that we often used, that "Grandma was always old". By the time I became aware of her, she was in her fifties, and she lived until almost 100. So seeing a photo like this, where she is 16 years old, came as a pleasant surprise to me.

Yes, everyone was young at one time. And if you are fortunate enough to have a candid photograph like this, taken with a Kodak, you can really step into their world. Most photos from that era are stiff formal photos with the kind of grimacing smiles and tense looks that are inevitable from that type of setting.

Someone in my family was a Kodaker. This type of technology was just being made available to ordinary people after the turn of the century, and it must have been amazing. For myself, I have made it a point to try to take photos like this - not posed, not composed, and not only of "backgrounds". I've carried around a camera since I was a teenager, not to photograph sunsets, or to compete with Ansel Adams, but to, hopefully, take this type of snapshot. Yes, this is a snapshot. The most precious photos I own are snapshots.

I can hear her laugh.
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