Saturday, October 14, 2017

Family Fotos

I recently scanned more slides from boxes found in a closet at my grandmother's house years ago - until then, I'd never known that my grandfather was quite the shutterbug for a period of time. It seemed like it might be fun to share some of the scans here!

This first one is from 1954, when my mom and her parents went to Hawaii (there's Diamond Head in the distance). Grandma labeled the slide, "Killer Sub, Pearl Harbor", which is pretty dramatic - but there's a submarine, right there! It is the USS Bonita (the K-3, later renamed the SSK-3), a Barracuda-class submarine launched in 1951. There were two other similar vessels (the Barracuda SSK-1, and the Bass SSK-2);  each was equipped with a large bow-mounted sonar array, " part of Project Kayo, which experimented with the use of passive acoustics with low-frequency, bow-mounted sonar arrays", according to Mr. Wikipedia. The Bonita was decommissioned in November, 1958, and was sold for scrap in November, 1966.

From 1948 comes this photo of my mom (13 years old), my Great-Grandma, and my Grandma, standing in front of the bell tower at San Antonio de Pala Asistencia (in San Diego county) - technically part (a "sub-Mission", believe it or not) of Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, about 20 miles away. As far as I can glean, this bell tower was rebuilt in 1916 after the original was damaged by age, neglect and the 1899 San Jacinto Earthquake (which had an approximate magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter Scale - that's a pretty good shake!).

Next we'll head up into the Eastern Sierras to "Devil's Postpile National Monument", near Mammoth. This formation is a dark cliff of columnar basalt, formed when a great mass of lava cooled slowly and evenly, resulting in long, mostly hexagonal columns as large as 2 or 3 feet in diameter. My Mother and Grandma are shown here in 1949, and my Mom said that at the time it was very remote and arduous to reach, and that there were no other people around. I visited the Devil's Postpile back in 2010, and it was considerably more crowded - but still very cool.


Scott Lane said...

Thanks for sharing your family photos!

Chuck said...

Great photos from the golden age of family road trip vacations. I love looking at my grandfather's slides for the same reasons I'm enjoying these. Thanks, Major!

K. Martinez said...

Even though Oahu is like a second home to me, I still find Pearl Harbor very powerful every time I go there. Whenever I drove past the Harbor on my way to my mom's condo or my sisters's house I'd look up at the sky and imagine the horror of that infamous day. When I visited the U.S.S Arizona back in 1973 it was leaking oil. From what I've read, it still does.

Devil's Postpile is another awesome place. I love geographic formations. I hope you share more of your grandparents family photos on your blog in the future. These are pretty nice. Your grandfather did a great job. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

1. Wow, that's a really high quality scan! I can see individual flyaway hairs on the foreground noggins, and every ripple on the unbelievably blue ocean.

2. I have a shawl just like Great-Grandma’s! And Mom is cuter than a button on a rainbow-covered pony!

3. This picture would make the best folk rock album cover ever. And what a dramatic haircut mom has had since the previous picture! (I recently had a similar one myself; it's a great feeling.)

Thank you for sharing, Maj!

Anonymous said...

A real nice slice of life back in the day Major. California was a better place then. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

Scott Lane, it’s been fun going through them!

Chuck, it really does seem like every family took road trips during the summer, and 90 percent of those went to the Grand Canyon!

K. Martinez, I have heard that the “Arizona” still leaks drops of oil. Hawaii seems so tranquil that it is hard to believe that it was the site of such a terrible attack. I love my grandfather’s photos, but honestly most of them are blurry - many that would be amazing shots are ruined by a slow shutter or a shaky hand.

Melissa, the old Kodachrome really captured blues well! I wonder where my Great-Grandma bought that shawl… possibly Mexico! Or Olvera Street, who knows. As for album covers, if you can’t make it to Stonehenge, you might as well go to the Devil’s Postpile.

KS, I used to love to hear my Grandmother’s stories of coming to California (from Illinois) when she married my Grandpa in 1929. It sounds like it was a paradise.

Melissa said...

At first I thought my yellow & orange shawl like the one in the picture was the one with the cool story behind it, but now I remember that it's just one I got at the Salvation Army for a production of Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Chuck said...

Getting used for a production of Amahl and the Night Visitors is still pretty cool. Our church used to perform that every year when I was in grade school.

And then, of course, your shawl has a secret history that predates you finding it at the Salvation Army. It might have an amazing pedigree. Who knows - it may have even been the Shawl of Iran!

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

@ Major-
It's definitely fun seeing shots of your family. I know at some point you'll sneak-in a blurred image of 'The Major' in his formative years.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yes, thank you for sharing your family photos with us, Major! These are all such wonderful shots. I would love to see more family pics, including as Nanook mentioned, any showing a young Major Pepperidge. Or would that be a Minor Pepperidge?

Anonymous said...

Major, thanks for sharing your personal pics.

Agreeing with everyone here, these were good days.