Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy birthday, Loraine!

My grandmother, Loraine Gunzendorfer, was born 119 years ago today, January 20, 1896.  Sadly, she has been gone since 1982 but I feel like I know her 1000% better today than I did back then.  I am so thankful that she left bread crumbs about her life and I feel so honored she entrusted me to share her life with her family and anyone else who would listen.

I recently thumbed through my photos to refresh my memory on what was here when I ran across this photo of Loraine.

Sweet 16 post card front

I remember thinking she was always an old woman and I never really thought about her life as a child.  But having spent the last several years really getting to know her and discovering so many pictures of her, I have a new appreciation for just how beautiful she was.  And I don’t think I’ve seen too many photos of her without that beautiful smile on her face.

So the photo above wasn’t too different – a beautiful young woman with a big smile on her face.  But what else did this tell me?  And then I turned it over and saw this.

Sweet 16 post card

Looks like this was Loraine’s “Sweet Sixteen” photo.  Sure she was closing in on 17 but someone (by the look of the handwriting I’d say it was her father) deemed this the perfect photo to declare as her “Sweet Sixteen” photo.  And then he had the wherewithal to make a postcard out of it.

I’m not sure what the intended use of these photo postcards was but my guess is that they were used to distribute to friends and family.  Maybe it was an early version of a senior picture?  Whatever it is, I’m glad to have it!

Happy birthday, Grandma!


  1. You are so right about that unmistakable smile. If ever you were in doubt trying to identify people in a photo, that smile would be your clue.

  2. What a lovely photo! And, that is neat that it's a postcard... something that would be interesting to learn more about!

  3. Such a wonderful smile - it made me smile as soon as I saw the picture!