My dad was an avid photographer and always had a camera around his neck. And he always, always took slides. And then he’d put them in to the old Kodak carousels and there they would sit,in most cases never to be seen again. After Dad died in 2005, we always knew that at some point we’d have to tackle those slides, as well as the reels and reels of movies, but I don’t think any of us could face it. Fast forward to 2013 when Mom died and we were faced with the daunting task of cleaning out the home they’d lived in for over 55 years. And it was then that the reality of those thousands of slides and movie reels hit us in the face. What to do? The good news is that technology had improved considerably between 2005 and 2013 so we were pretty sure we could handle this task by ourselves. So my husband and I packed our van with slides, and the reels of film left with my brother, and off we went.
Thanks to the Technology for Genealogists Facebook page, I received many, many recommendations for a small scanner that could handle the task. And thankfully, my husband was anxious to get those old carousels out of the garage so he tackled the project. The rule was if there were no people in the picture, out they’d go – and we still had over 1,000 slides to scan.
I’m not sure if my dad just wasn’t a great photographer or the years had taken a toll on the slides but for the most part, they were so dark you could barely see them. I spent some time lightening them up but it became an overwhelming task and I put it aside for months. Until yesterday when a cousin on my mom’s side sent me a photo of my great grandmother standing next to her sister (thanks again, Kris!) and my interest in old photos was piqued again. I was flipping through the slides to determine what was there when I ran across this photo of Loraine and my grandfather, Sig Levy.
Nice picture but WAIT - look at those stone posts. Something looked very familiar about this house. Could it be???
Look closely – it is the same house! Which tells me that this was a very, very special house in Loraine’s life for her to have gone back years later and posed for a picture with her husband. And since her parents lived in the same house at 430 (later 456) Pacific Street in Monterey for close to 40 years, my hunch is that this is the house! But how cool would it be to have a photo of your son in front of the house you grew up in? I’d say pretty darned cool!
Based on the age of those in the later photos, I’d guess this to be in the mid to late 1950’s. Which is somewhere around the time that the house was demolished to make way for the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies, now the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
Certainly not a slam dunk but the clues are leading me back to Pacific Street in Monterey!