Posts Tagged ‘Preserve Family History’

Some of my customers don’t know where to start. They open their closet doors and view the disorganization of the photos and videos and then close the door again. It seems overwhelming. But they want to experience again the memories that these photos hold – to see them displayed on their computers during the day, to share with family members, or to archive them for future generations.

Call Picture This! to help you get organized

Actually organizing and labeling the photos isn’t that difficult. Here is a step-by-step guide to get things in order so that Picture This! can scan in your photos or slides for you. We offer consulting services to help you with this task, but it is one easily done by you if you have the time.

  1. Get several cardboard file folder boxes, some hanging files and individual file folders. This works well if you have varying sizes of photos, or perhaps some mementos as well. If all of your photos are 4 x 6 inches, then archival photo boxes work well. You will need a permanent marker to write on the file folders or the index cards in the archival boxes. Some small Stickie notes might also come in handy.
  2. Find a working space that can be used for about 2 -3 weeks in your leisure time. A dining room table or large desk works well. Pull out all of the photos and photo albums. Don’t forget all the treasured photos that are in frames on the walls.
  3. You have to decide on one of two methods to organize your photos; either by year that the photo was taken, or by person or family that is in the photo itself.
    1. If most of your photos are in albums, they might be more easily organized by date and event (example: 1964 – Kate & Bill wedding).
    2. If your photos are loose or in envelopes as they were returned from the photo developer, then sorting them by person might be the easiest.
  4. Mark each folder or archival box for each person or year. An example list of folders for Kate & Bill Bolten’s family, which includes their 3 children Eddie, James, & Susan might be:
    • Young Kate with Temple Family (Kate’s maiden name)
    • Kate’s ancestors
    • Young Bill with Bolton Family
    • Bill’s ancestors
    • Kate & Bill together (dating and wedding)
    • Eddie’s childhood
    • James’s childhood
    • Susan’s childhood
    • Family group photos of young family
    • Holidays
    • Eddie & Karen (Eddie when grown and wife Karen with their children)
    • James & Jenny (James and wife Jenny)
    • James & Linda (James and second wife Linda with children)
    • Susan & Larry (Susan and husband Larry)
    • Miscellaneous
    • Large group family photos of extended families
    • Pets
    • Family Friends

    OR just label each by year that the photo was taken if you have that information.

  5. Place the files into the file folder box or open the archival boxes. Open the first envelope of photos and pull out the photos. As you take out each photo, place it in the appropriate file or envelope. If you are using archival boxes, then mark the index cards in the boxes with these categories and place the photos behind the appropriate index card separators. Take a few moments to reminisce, but try to be expedient about sorting the photos. After they are scanned, you will have much time to enjoy the images and memories. If there isn’t an existing folder or index card, label a new one and continue.
  6. If there are loose photos that you don’t want scanned, you can indicate this by keeping them in a separate box or by giving us direction about avoiding bad photos, all photos that don’t have people in them, or duplicate or similar photos.
  7. If photos are in an album, label each album with the year or event so they can be placed in folders on the DVD after they are scanned. There is no need to remove the photos from these albums – Picture This! can remove them and replace the photos for most photo albums. If there are some photos that you don’t want scanned, place a small Stickie note on these photos so that we know to skip them.
  8. Mark framed photos with a sticky note so that they can place in the appropriate folder on the DVD.
  9. Slides are usually in trays or boxes. Leave these slides in the box or tray and label each box or tray if they are not labeled. It is harder to sort out slides that you don’t want unless you have a slide viewer. Most of our customers give us direction about scanning in slides (see note 6 above).

Picture This! will return your photos to you in the boxes or folders as you sorted them. The color optimized scanned images are given to you on a DVD by folder of person or year for you to place on your computer, share with family, and archive for safe-keeping.

Picture This! will help you create the gift of a lifetime. Call us to scan your heirloom photos or to preserve your videos. 512-263-0546

* VHS or reels to DVD
* Scan your photos or slides
* Preserve your Memories.

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.


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For a family that didn’t have much money (See My Dad – the Original Organic Farmer ), we sure did have fun on Saturday nights. Friday nights were taken up with football or basketball (See Football Boogie ). Saturday nights were reserved for playing cards or board games, sometimes with just our family, my aunt and uncle, or family friends. Before I was 9, I learned the game of Pinochle and the special set of rules that my family played by. I don’t think it was an option NOT to play – but I enjoyed the shenanigans so I never tested what would happen if I didn’t want to join the game.

Photo Scan Austin

Getting Ready for the Card Game

On Saturday nights, my parents either played cards with my Aunt Mid and Uncle Jim or Don and Jean Shulaw. They took turns going to each other’s houses and my brother and sisters enjoyed it wherever the games took place. Now, to be exact, the kids were not invited to play when we got together with another family. Occasionally however, I would be asked to come to the table and “take a hand” so that the host could get the food ready to serve, or tend to one of the kid emergencies. It was there I learned most of my first cuss words and slightly off-color jokes. I observed not only the game of Pinochle, but how my parents acted a bit differently when around their friends. If my Dad wasn’t getting good cards that night, he would declare the cards were sticking together. He would get up and go get the baby powder to coat the cards to make them shuffle smoother. My Aunt would often get upset at the teasing at the card table and throw down the cards in a huff. I heard “Dammit Fred” so often I thought my Dad had two first names. Almost always – though it wasn’t a sure bet –  they were all laughing again by the end of the night.

slide Scanning Austin

Mom & Dad's Favorite Card Partners

While our parents were otherwise occupied, we could play at will and with slightly less supervision. Mom didn’t seem to care if we messed the house up a little more. My sisters and I built tents with sheets and blankets with our cousins or played basketball outside in the dark. To this day, I am a very good shot at basketball and it’s because I played  “H-O-R-S-E” for hours with my cousin Brian on those card-playing nights. Sometimes it was so dark out that he’d throw me the ball and it would hit my face because I couldn’t see it. We also played outside barefoot, engaging in hide and seek and freeze-tag well into the night. My parents would stop their game long enough to make sure that we washed our very dirty feet before we came back into the house. They returned to their cards and we returned to our cousins. There was no set bedtime on those nights.

One of the best things about having company over to play cards was the food that came with the get-together. We were never allowed to have snacks or soda pop otherwise. But if cards were involved, we could have Pepsi or root beer, accompanied by potato chips and home-made onion dip. Mom would make her orange jello with pineapple dessert topped with cream cheese and marshmallows. I still sometimes savor the taste of Pepsi on ice in a tall Tupperware cup. As the bubbles explode when I drink it, I have flashbacks of the memories of those game nights.

scan photo austin

My boyfriend

When I was in high-school, it was easy for me to bring my boyfriend to my house (See One Sure Thing) and have him join in our family card game.  There was a structure already in place that he could slide into that eased him into being a part of our family. He endured my Dad’s teasing about how inept his card-playing was. That was Paul’s initiation into my family and he passed the test. My father was endeared to him when Paul declared the cards were sticking together and jumped up to get the powder to coat the cards. Finally, someone understood my father and his solution to unlucky cards.

We varied the games through the years. We added a marble game called Aggravation, we became experts at Euchre, or we played a game called Shanghai. This game was a form of rummy that required differing combinations of sets and runs.  The game itself wasn’t the important thing. What mattered was just getting around the table engaging each other in some sort of activity. We just really wanted to be together. They say you must accept the cards that life deals you. I was dealt a very blessed childhood.

Picture This! will help you create the gift of a lifetime. Call us to scan your heirloom photos or to preserve your videos. 512-263-0546

  • VHS or reels to DVD
  • Scan your photos or slides
  • Preserve your Memories.

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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It was Scottish tradition that when the patriarch died in an Scottish family, the oldest son inherited all the land and the others received nothing. And, as luck would have it, my Scottish ancestor was not the oldest. My great-great-grandfather left Virginia and moved to the Appalachian mountains with his family. The mountains of Tennessee reminded the Scottish people of their native land. They set up their homesteads despite the rugged terrain of the land.

Campbell Mountain

My great-great-grandfather was given a land grant in 1830 of 250 acres and my great-grandfather was given a total of 1200 acres, perhaps for in return for their Revolutionary War service. This area is known  as Campbell Mountain.

1830 is right after the treaty with the Cherokee to move them to Oklahoma, and 10 years after Daniel Boone roamed the area. Davy Crockett moved from Tennessee in 1834, after being defeated in his seat for the US representatives. He disagreed with President Andrew Jackson about the Indian Removal Act and angrily left for Texas. Jamestown, Tennessee, a mountain town, was established in 1828.

Timothy's birthplace

My grandfather Timothy grew up in a house in a valley next to Campbell Mountain close to a mountain spring. Farming was his family’s livelihood. He stayed on the mountain after he grew up and became a vital part of the community. My grandfather helped with the family farm, but also was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse.  He stayed there until he and his brother lost the land during the depression. (See: Living on the Edge ) He started a grocery store in a building next to their house. Timothy worked as the Justice of the Peace — he had trials and received no salary.   He was able to keep a percentage of the commission from  the fines and fees collected.

Justice of the Peace Decree

My mother grew up on this Campbell Mountain in eastern Tennessee. It was Appalachia, not only in geographic location, but in extreme poverty and way of life.  Not one thing was easy for my mother living in this part of the country. We heard as children about walking to school in the snow barefoot. But it wasn’t until we returned to the area with her that we realized that this was exactly how she got around the mountain and traveled to school. It was not exagerated. We had more respect for her when we realized that it was also uphill all the way.

Because my grandmother left her family (See: Archiving Photos and Videos AND Telling the Story ), my mother was in charge of the household and did the family laundry in the nearby spring, cooked dinner over the wood stove, and read at night by kerosene. My uncles who were older than my mother, ran moonshine through the mountains during prohibition. They knew the mountains better than the revenuers and were able to outwit them. This area of Tennessee didn’t have electricity or running water until after World War II in the late 1940s.

My mother left this area for college, but returned  after graduating from Martin Teacher’s college in 1941. She taught at a nearby school in  a mining community called Stockton, teaching all 8 grades and 72 kids in a one-room schoolhouse.   Many of the students were older than she was and disobedient.  She stayed there 2 months.   Her brother had taught there and had carried a gun back and forth to school with him after being by a parent there.

Her father lived 3 miles  out-of-town, and was  teaching at neighboring Round Mountain, at the same time my mother taught in Stockton 8 miles away.  There was a corduroy road in between the two towns and the logs broke in the road and the car fell in. During the war, tires were scarce and my mother drove down the mountain on the rims. The stick shift came off into her hand while she was driving down the mountain and panicked about how continue her travels. It was treacherous traveling around the mountains.

It was also treacherous living there. In 1955, my grandfather died at the age of 68. He returned to his homeplace on the foothills of Campbell Mountain in the Campbell family cemetery. Buried next to him is my mother’s sister-in-law – her best  friend – who died in childbirth delivering her 7th child at home on Mother’s Day 1953. Her baby girl also died and lays at her side. And next to her is her husband – my mother’s brother – who when burdened with the remaining 6 children and a problem with alcohol, died of a broken heart one year later.

For those who are born in the  mountains, the struggle can never end until their lives end.  For the ones who manage to survive, a feisty zest for life remains after the lesser parts are scraped away.

Picture This! will help you create the gift of a lifetime.

Picture This! http://www.picturethisaustin.com

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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