February 7, 2007

Heritage Project Progress

I’ve been scanning my grandfather’s slides this week. The cute little device to the left tracks the progress I’ve made against my estimate of 3700 slides. All of the last few days’ scanning has been from the years 1946, 1947, and 1948. Many of them are of trips: the Pacific coast, southern Oregon and northern California, Colorado, eastern Washington, and Mt. Rainier. There is another set of slides of boats and a river, from a box with a note of “Allen on the Hudson.” My dad’s younger brother Allen was a coxswain on crew boats. Since none of the photos are of Allen, I’m assuming that Allen took them on a trip he took to New York for a regatta or similar event. There are also a set of shots of a football game in progress (though they’re mostly of the fans in the stands holding up cards that spell out sayings or make pictures – you don’t see much of that these days), another that shows a building being built (is it the office my grandfather had next to his home in Edmonds?), and several shots of snow around that Edmonds home (I recognize it, though the trees and hedges sure were smaller).

Many of the photos suffered from the usual technical problems (focus was a problem with this batch) and age-related issues, especially scratches and some emulsion degradation. Still, there are several interesting images to share.

The first is from a July 1946 trip to Crater Lake and the Shasta area in northern California. This dramatic, if fuzzy picture is of snow removal on the round-the-crater highway. Remember, this is July! (Click on this and later images for a larger version.)

The equipment hints at the exotic, too, at least from this vantage, though it’s hard to tell just what it is, other than a snow blower.

The next image has “Garden of the Gods” written on the slide. A quick Web search tells me that this is in Colorado. There are other slides in this set that are labeled with Utah, so there was a road trip that summer in 1947. The image is also dramatic, sharp, and powerful. I find myself straining to the left to see what this is all leaning toward. There are similar images in the Web site linked above, including some that suggest the answer.

The third image is from a slide with the note: Pacific Ocean wreck; Long Beach Wash. I think that refers to the ship, not the car, which seems to be in good shape. And, yes, that car is on the beach, right next to the tide line. It’s something weird we do in this state, though I’ve never been a big fan; it’s legal – and, in fact, exceedingly popular – to drive on most of the beaches along the Pacific Coast. I’m sure the towing companies like it, too. I don’t know anything about the wreck, but it looks like it’s been there a while. Since this shot is from March 1948, you can sure there’s nothing much left of it today.

Finally, this photo of Wenatchee from Ohme Gardens is of mostly historical interest, since the quality is poor, especially in the upper right corner. But, you can be sure that the open fields of trees that the road cuts through have been replaced by buildings and development since the picture was taken in April 1948. I looked on the Web for newer photos from this vantage and found several that suggested that I was right, but none of them were really comparable enough to this one to show the change clearly.

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