Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Joseph A. Micarelli's Photo Album

I am the de facto archivist for my family- the one who keeps extensive records and photos. Not only do I keep my own photo archives organized by year & event, but I usually make albums of photo prints for family members' birthdays.

Even though the Buddhist principles of non-attachment (stemming from the realization of impermanence) resonate deeply with me, it is still in my nature to want to preserve memories. I feel it is a way to communicate with others through time & space.

So, I felt this sense of communication recently when I went to visit my aunt on my dad's side of the family. I had spotted some old photos, and she ended up bringing out a photo album that was put together by my grandfather, Joseph A. Micarelli (1922-1984) who was married to Marie (Rietzen) (1925-2003). 

Google Photo Album:

My aunt and uncle had wanted to scan the photographs, and began taking them out of the album, which unfortunately would have ruined the album. Luckily they didn't get too far with it. Most of the photos were captioned with names and dates, so I thought it was important to preserve this info with the pictures. After seeing the care and time that my grandfather had put into making this photo book, I realized where my knack for archiving photos originated! I expressed my interest in taking the album & digitizing it, by scanning each page as a whole. Then, somewhere down the line I could digitally crop out individual photos if I wanted.

My aunt kindly lent me the book, so after a month or two of not getting around to it, I decided to just take a day and scan away! I didn't want it to be something that I was holding onto for years, because I never made the time to get it done. Because the pages were larger than my scanner, I had to scan each page in halves, then stitch them together on the computer. Once I got the process going, I got in the zone and finished it in one day.

I uploaded the photos to the Google album, linked above, and made the high-resolution images available to my family on Facebook and through email. It feels good to reconnect my extended family (of which there are many) to the lives and memories of our ancestors.

My Pop-Pop died when I was in first grade, so luckily I do have some vague memories and impressions of him. Looking through & saving these old photos gave me a new level of connection to him and my other relatives.

As I scanned these photos, I couldn't help but think how amazed he would be to know his grandson was using computers to save and share his images with the entire family. I guess that's why I also archive photos and info from my own life- in the hopes that one day I will be able to communicate across time & space through them, and reach out to those living in the future.

Here are a few pics from the album:

My grandfather Joseph Micarelli around 1940, 18 years old:

My grandparents from my dad's side, Joseph & Marie Micarelli, on their wedding day May 12, 1945:

The Micarelli family photo from 1934. 
There were 8 boys & 1 girl and they lived in Boston:

No comments: