I love a parade

1953 Seafair Parade. Seattle, WA. Probably August, 1953.

It’s not August, but I feel like posting a photo taken by my grandfather almost 70 years ago. He grew up in Seattle from the final years of the 1800s until he passed in 1990. He would regale me about what Seattle was like in those early years, before Grandma would say, “hush, now, Roy, he doesn’t want to hear about all that old stuff!” I actually did. This photo is one of three dozen (a long roll of 35mm film back then). From the shots I can tell my grandfather never moved, just shot what paraded by. This photo is interesting because the young woman in the position of honor on the float looks like my mother. I doubt it’s her–she was way too shy to be this involved in things–but nonetheless… I’ve not delved deeply enough into parade routes, but it’s very likely this corner now has one or more skyscrapers on it. I can tell from some of the photos that it’s at an intersection and the street that leads off in front of the building in the background goes steeply downhill toward Elliott Bay…but then, many streets do that in Seattle. I can see Bainbridge Island in the background of some of the photos shot just a few more degrees to the left. Today it would be impossible to see Bainbridge Island this far up from the Bay.

Making sorghum syrup

Sorghum Mill near Greenup, KY– my Grandmother is on left. Oct 7, 1966

I have published this photo before to social media, but not in this edited format. (The shadows have been lightened to the point where my grandmother is recognizably her. The barrels stand out.) My grandmother was raised primarily in Greenup, KY, on the Ohio River, though she also lived in the nearby cities/towns of Ironton and Cincinnati, OH, before she moved with her mother and brother to San Francisco, CA. At that point she was a young woman and soon met her husband-to-be, my grandfather. When this photo was taken, she had not lived in this area (KY/OH) for 40 to 50 years. I am uncertain, but I know my grandparents married in the mid-1920s and were living in Seattle, WA, by 1929 when my mother was born. Greenup, KY is on the edge of the Appalachians. Though northerly (near West Virginia and western Pennsylvania), the so-called hillbilly influence was large. My grandmother told a story of her grandmother (her mother’s mother) coming out of the hills to visit, complete with logging boots and corncob pipe. It likely affected my grandmother–she put on airs all her life. But that is another story….

from my mother’s day

Back side of Cathedral Rock, near Sedona, AZ, February 2022

I grew up looking at the old travel photos and souvenir filmstrips of the 1920’s through 1940’s which my mother and her parents collected. I distinctly remember some textured postcard-like sets of souvenir vistas which either she or her parents collected when traveling. This photo reminds me of those little cards (approximately 2 inches by 3 inches).

I never view these classic southwest American vistas without thinking of the Tru-Vue filmstrip viewer which introduced me to them:

Tru-Vue 3D filmstrip viewer, circa 1940s?

It’s not the best photo I have of the viewer, but it’s the most informative. The viewer itself is upside down: the flange sticking out of the top is the advancing mechanism which is customarily used at the bottom. Those persons aged 60-70 will recognize the concept which was translated into discs of photos which we looked at through similar, but more plastic viewers. A giant loss with these viewers of the 1960’s was that they only had a dozen or so images. The filmstrips above were almost limitless and offered several dozen black-and-white photos of the subjects named on the cartons shown. Even so, one notices that the Grand Canyon has at least three filmstrips. As I recall, the eight boxes which are not identified in the photo were of Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park. An added plus is the intricately inlaid box which housed everything.