So I decided to spend the gift on something other than grim necessity. I could hear each of them in my head saying "Yes!" Consequently, I now have a combo scanner/printer/copier that networks with my new laptop, including the ability to scan from slides and negatives.
During the 1980s, at the height of my genealogical travels, everywhere I went I asked folks I visited if I could copy their family photos. I had a camera with a special lens and stand that made this easy. Most of these photographs were in danger of being lost and did not exist elsewhere, certainly not in negative form. I also photographed places and gravestones, keeping detailed notes. I have hundreds of these negatives safely stored in labeled sleeves.
I was also inspired by JEB, Lynda Koolish, Cathy Cade, Tee Corinne, and many others during the 1970s to document my own life and community. I have dozens of albums stuffed with photographs of the wimmin and events I knew. Few of them have ever been scanned.
So, my goal for the next couple of months is to render all these images to a digital format that can be easily shared and reliably preserved. It's a monumental project, something I think of as part of the heritage I want to leave behind. I will post later on the question of privacy and distribution, asking for your feedback.
This weekend I have embarked on the oldest images, family going back to the first advent of photography. As I scan, I am definitively identifying each photo, running it through editing, and posting it at my online genealogical tree -- instant sharing. I will share a few of these in future posts with stories attached as I write them.
And it frees me up for the brave new world I have embarked on with Margot.
For now, the photo above shows me at age 9 (on the left) with my cousin Sally and little brother Bill in Dilley, Texas, December 1964. This is in our dining room, which was also my only space in the house. I was being abused by Craig though not quite sexually yet. I had just written my first poem and found out I was a lesbian. Sally is my cousin, Mama's sister's (Aunt Sarah) younger daughter, 4 months apart from me in age. The stuffed lion was called Leo. We are sitting on my bed.