Monday, December 4, 2017

Not in the Mail

I have a confession to make. No, it isn't that I haven't yet gotten my Christmas cards in the mail; I've still got plenty of time for that (says the procrastinator). It's an entirely different item that I neglected to send off in the mail.

My confession is that I am horrible at mailing things. Email was made explicitly for people like me, people who, though still supplied with pen, paper and envelope—even the stamp, for crying out loud!—somehow can't find a way to transform those raw materials into the item intended for delivery in the mail.

In today's case, it wasn't a letter I meant to mail, per se, but a package. A small package. A flat package. One containing a photograph from, oh, maybe one hundred thirty years ago.

I'm just guessing about the age of the thing, of course, because I haven't yet researched it. But when I first obtained the photograph, I had meant to send it on—along with that Christmas photo album I had found at the same time—to my friend and mentor, "Far Side" of Forgotten Old Photos. She has a talent for reuniting old photographs with family members, so I had thought she could try her hand at finding a home for this one. All except for one thing: I never got it mailed.

So much for good intentions. At this point, casting about for a story, I've decided to take the suggestion of a friend and head for the hills to peruse the antique shops near Gold Rush country in California. I have a traveling companion to keep me company—thanks to the offer of good friend and mentor Sheri Fenley—and the date for our road trip is already set.

There's only one problem: I want to write about those old photographs now. Thus, I remember my transgressions and sheepishly pull out the folder storing the old, unmailed treasure and swipe it for my own blog post here.

So, with apologies to Connie at Forgotten Old Photos, we'll be off on our own adventure, seeing whether there is any way to connect an old face with a new family member. This week, we'll start in a small town in the eastern part of the state of Kansas and work our way westward as we journey through the decades since a young man posed for his portrait at the Shuck photography studio in tiny Walnut, Kansas, sometime around the 1880s.  


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