Thursday, September 20, 2018
Uh - Oh . . .
One of the things I love about this project to reunite abandoned family photos with descendants, a hundred years later, is all the correspondence that occurs with the recipient. From those emails, I often learn much more about the subject whose photo I am returning.
In the case of the wedding photo labeled "Adolph Brockman + wife," I've been privileged to see several other family photos, courtesy of the Brockman descendant to whom I'll be sending that picture I found in Sonora, California. It's taken me a while to look through all the details, so don't be surprised that it wasn't until last night that something struck me wrong about what I was seeing. I'll start unwinding my thoughts today, but I certainly welcome your input over the next few days as I share with you what I'm seeing. I am wondering whether we are witnessing a case of a photograph being mislabeled.
If you saw the family portrait I posted yesterday, shared courtesy of my Brockman correspondent, you probably were able to pick out Adolph. Not only was he the oldest of the Brockman children, he also appeared to be the tallest. His hairstyle, in particular, seemed to stand out.
So it was no surprise to subsequently discover, among the photos sent to me by Jeff (the Brockman descendant), another wedding picture of Adolph and Vernie. I'll share that below—with his permission, of course. You can see quickly how much Adolph resembled the eldest son in the photograph shared yesterday. If you remember the original portrait I had found in California, however, the comparison begins to pale. Either Adolph got a radically different hair style—not to mention a new set of ears—or we are seeing two different people.
Just in case I'm getting things wrong, I'll provide some side-by-side comparisons tomorrow, along with a few guesses as to what might have happened. I'm sure you will have a few ideas of your own, as well...
Above: Wedding photo of Adolph and Vernie Nieman Brockman, shared by Jeff in Oregon, a Brockman descendant; used by permission.