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Friday, October 14, 2011

Good news

I’ve heard from Children’s Services; they have copies of the Lytle children records in house from the out of state storage facility.  That’s the good news, I guess.  Now they are determining how to “present” them to me.  I didn’t get much information from the records manager I spoke to.   I assume they have photocopies and think they must type them up into neat columns or some such.  I’ll have more time to preserver next week and will try to go to Akron and actually take a look and solve their problem.

And, I have had the old family films transferred from VHS tapes to discs.  About ten years ago I had the family moving pictures and slides put on tape.  The ultimate at the time.  But I no longer have a tape player, and worse, now that I would like some of those pictures for the blog, how to get them.

When I found the negative of Dorothy on the gizmo I took it straight to the drug store to be developed.  I had to feel my head to be sure there weren’t the two the clerk seemed to be staring at.  You already know how long it’s been since film was developed. I found out.  So, I went through the yellow pages (yes, we have a phone book at my house) looking for a “real” photographer and found a studio in the same block of buildings as our very first weaving studio.  It felt like the right place to call and yes, he could print the picture if I hustled right over, as he was about to leave for an appointment.  I hustled.  To my amazement he put my negative on a scanner, got it on his screen, positived it.  Then I had to stop him from doing things to make it perfect; I only wanted a print.  I learned he’d opened that studio in 1988, just about the time Jan and I closed ours there.  And, yes, he had put VHS on DVD, as a favor to friends and family.  What the heck, he had all the equipment.

To my credit, I had scanned the negative as my first attempt, but none of the photo tools I have in my rudimentary programs could turn it into a positive.  Anyway,

Last weekend I rounded up my three VHS tapes and got them DVD’d.  One tape is my grandfather’s and Uncle Hank’s home movies from the mid 1940’s into the 1960’s.  My brothers and I were cute babies!  Another tape is of the movies my husband and I took in the ‘60’s.  My kids and my niece and nephews were cute babies! And last, the slide project.  My dad took hundreds and hundreds of slides.  His film of choice was Kodachrome 24 ASA.  I doubt he ever used more than 64.  He had prints made of many, and stored the slides in slide storage boxes.  We have a lot of the boxes on a shelf in a closet.  I went through them ten years ago and put together a chronological sequence of selected slides that started in 1953 and ended in 1974.  On the whole I used slides with people and a very few of his beloved flora and fauna slides to present a narrative that starts with Jan as a baby (the very first and oldest slide) and ends with a picture taken by my mother of my dad surrounded by five of his grandchildren.

I’m still learning how to manipulate screen shots of my DVD’s and I’m still waiting on Children’s Services.  I watched myself silly last night with six hours of old stuff.  Thank goodness we gave the Great 1936 Trip West to the people who bought the Apache basket so I didn’t tempt myself to DVD it, too. I OD’d on old faces, old places.  My dad was an excellent photographer; he was fascinated by children and preserved them so well on film.  His favorite study—a new grandchild’s hand laid across his old hand is a recurring study.

I’m going to learn how to make proper pictures of all I have.  In the meantime, here’s Dad’s first and last slide.  When I use them again they will be much better.

Jan in 1954

Dad and grandkids, 1973


  1. How exciting to be so close to getting those records.

  2. What wonderful memories! I love looking at the old photos and writing about them! And I really love that picture of Jan asleep at the wheel!!!