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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Through the Silver Window

My mother sent me a bunch of old family pictures to scan. I'm a little nervous about having them here; if there's a fire we'll have lost all our family photos for the past hundred years. There's a picture of my great-grandmother, taken in 1903 when she was five years old. I think that's the oldest one.

Today I started scanning a batch, thinking I could breeze through the first envelope in a couple hours. I think I got about a quarter way through it. The last picture I did was of my grandfather's sister, Marie, when she was a young woman. I won't show you Marie -- I'm kind of paranoid about family privacy, even though it's a faded picture and it's unlikely anyone will recognize her. But I will show you what's behind her:

Indiana gas station c. 1940

(Click for a bigger version.)

Marie was born in 1919, and she looks to be about 20 or so in the picture, so that places it a few years on either side of 1940. Mom thinks it was taken in Sanborn, Indiana, but she's not real sure.

Look at those old cars on the left! There's a man sitting in one, and another man, in a dark jacket and light hat, is about to get into the passenger seat. Are those Model A's? When I was young, there wasn't a man alive who couldn't tell you the make, model, and year of a car just by seeing its reflection flash past the corner of his eye. In the dark. Me...I know they're black. Is that good enough?

Cars of more recent vintage are on the right, and there's one at the pumps, where the attendant is doing something to it (back in the days, children, when there were attendants who would do things to cars -- check the oil or the battery water or the rubber band).

If you squint real hard at the sign high up on the right, you can almost make out the Mobil logo. (It helps if you have the rest of the picture, where you can see a sign for Mobilubrication in a moderne font.)

And, as it was in the beginning, as it is today, as it will be for all time to come, you are invited to Enjoy Coca-Cola.

See also the early years of Ken S, Fifth String on the Banjo of Life.