I recently released my new short story 'The Locket' and the main theme of the story is a locket that has special meaning through several generations of the same family. The locket in the story is a special link to the past; this idea inspired me to think about the many links to the past that we all have. One of the most obvious links to the past are the photographs that we have.
Photographs are a literal snapshot in time; they are a way to tell a story from our past. I can look at the picture of my great-grandmother (above) and get a wonderful glimpse into the history of my family. her clothes, her hair style, they can show me something about her life. They add to the stories that I have heard about her turn-of-the-century arrival in this country. As a writer, when I look at these photos, I see a story. The eyes, the facial expressions, was the baby fussy about taking pictures? Did my great-grandmother have to rush to get to the photographer? She didn't have a car, did she take a bus with the baby, or did she walk? What was New York City like in the 1900's? These old photos inspire so many questions. I feel very fortunate that I know some of our family stories. As a child, I spent time asking my Mother and Grandmother about our family history, and I listened.
If you are lucky enough to have parents who are still living, take some time to go through those old boxes of photos, and ask your parents for the stories of their past. Maybe even take the time to write down some of the stories. These stories are our links to the past, and they are invaluable.
I follow a fellow author on Facebook, Donna C Keenan, and she constantly shares amazing old images from the past. If you are on Facebook, you should follow her page, her photos are wonderful.