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My Favorite Ancestor Photo

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by Marc Chevalier, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. .
    Is there one photo -- and only one -- that really captures the spirit of your grandma, grandpa, or any other relative from the past? A picture that you'd show to your descendants and say, "That's your great-grandma in a nutshell"?

    Here's my favorite ancestor photo. It's a 1930 snapshot that my grandfather took of my grandmother one morning, when they were still newlyweds. She's in her lounging pajamas, reading a newspaper and smoking. According to her, the shot was completely unposed ... grandpa surprised her and she was not too happy about it. (Pajama photos were unseemly back then, even for the French.)


    My grandmother's name was Aimee Leitner (1909-1997). Born in Toulouse and stylish to her fingertips, she escaped her bourgeois bumpkin family and ran off to Paris, where she became a milliner for a successful hat designer. A quick study, grandma went solo and designed hats for an exclusive clientele. (And my mom ended up having a countess as a godmother!) World War II ended all that.

    After the war, my grandparents -- who believed that all of continental Europe would be absorbed by the Iron Curtain -- moved to Rio de Janeiro, where grandma resumed her old career and achieved success as a hat designer for rich Brazilian women desperate for postwar French style.

    Grandma Aimee lived to see the golden age of hats fade and die. Luckily, she had retired by then.

  2. moustache

    moustache Practically Family

    Delightful idea for a thread!!!

    I have a few i would LOVE to share buit,since it is ONLY one i will share said number.This is a photo of my grandparents at a USO dinner/dance in 1943 or so.They had the chance to meet a Don Swan,a big band player who went on to work with Xavier Cugat,etc.Looks like a good time they are having.I called my mother and she says it is at The Palladium in Hollywood.It had only been opened for a few years.
    My grandfather would be soon heading to the pacific on a minesweeper.

  3. What terrific expressions on their faces! :eusa_clap

  4. Hondo

    Hondo One Too Many

    To quote a line from the Beatles A Hard Days Night, where’s my Grandfather?

    Wow grandmother was quite a looker, a pretty woman very attractive If may say with all respect meant; Very nice picture, how it makes me dream of living in that time period.
    Can’t wait to see Grandfather;)
    Really an awesome story, I’m not a writer, awful speller to beat but if I was you I’d think about writing a book, or at least having oral history of your Grandfather and Grandmother lives, seem you know a bit, Thanls alot for sharing:eusa_clap
  5. Hondo

    Hondo One Too Many

    I must have missed that post :eusa_doh:
    Your Grandfather was cool, Thanks;)
  6. My Grandmother

    About 1912 I think. Probably taken by my grandfather before they were married. I want to enlarge this 3 x 5 inch image and paint it on canvas in a grand scale, about 3 x 5 feet. :)
    Sort of my take on Whistler's Mother.
  7. Wow! My scanner gave the image a strange painterly sort of look,...almost colorized. [huh]
  8. Marc,you're grandmother is so cool. Great photo! Moustache, your grandparents made a great looking couple and the Don Swan autograph is neat (I wonder if that was his real name?;) ). Maj.Nick Danger, please show off that painting when it's done. Lovely photo!

    O.K.,so here's what I came up with for my picture. It's my father's brother Walter in a photo taken in San Francisco (where we're from) in the 1950s. I love the leather jacket and the trousers he's wearing.
  9. I'm digging all these photos! Character in spades! :eusa_clap

  10. This is my favorite old photo of my grandma on my dad's side. It was taken in a NYC bar sometime in the '30s. Back then, my grandma worked as a model and a glove saleslady at Saks & Co. Like my other gran, she was innately stylish. (Having come from a family of Iowa farmers, this was no small feat.)

    I love this photo because it looks so much like a scene from a '30s movie. Grandma appears happy, but there's an ominous feeling to the picture. It looks as if two detectives are questioning her, and she's trying to act nonchalant. If there's a real story to this photo, I'll never know it: grandma died years before I was born.


  11. My great-grandmother and my grandfather, 1915 -

    My grandfather is his pal Paddy just after enlistment -
  12. Hondo

    Hondo One Too Many

    moustache: your Grandfather resembles just a bit like that guy in the White House, G.W. Bush, doesn't he? [huh]
    Nice photo, navy man like my dad :)

    Marc Chevalier:

    Grandmas happy cause she's at the bar ;)
    I would also be happy, looks just like in the movies, cool photo. Thanks to all of you for sharing, its a wonderful period, or it seems :eusa_clap
  13. BJBAmerica

    BJBAmerica A-List Customer

    My Grandmother.....A WWII era photo she had taken of herself to send to my grandfather. He was serving in the U.S. Navy in the ETO....I love this photo of her!

  14. Wow! Terrific photos everyone!!!! :eusa_clap
  15. Shaul-Ike Cohen

    Shaul-Ike Cohen One Too Many

    I'd say this is because the man to the right looks so serious.

    Very nice picture, whatever the story.

  16. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Middleton Family.


    Uncle Joe (far left kneeling) with his team from SOE (Special Ops Executive) on German occupied Crete. He was always a dog lover :)


    PA (my grandfather), William Middleton (I carry his name & genetic hair loss too!) in about 1920.


    MA (My grandmother), Esie Ambrose Middleton, in about 1920.


    Uncle Joe with aircrew friends at the bomber station RAF Leeming, North Yorshire around 1941/42. Both men on either side didn't survive the war. Nice relaxed, cobbled together photo.
  17. Novella

    Novella Practically Family


    My great grandparents, my grandpa, and my great aunt in the 1930s. I never knew any of them well, so I'm not sure how much this picture embodies them. It is my favorite ancestor photo though. There is something humble, yet dignified about the four of them. Hard working traveling folks - that's what I get through 70 years and a layer of photo chemicals. (Even if it's only a picture myth and the reality may have been different. I still love it.)

    (Although this one of my grandpa is really close to being my favorite:
  18. These photos are all priceless! Marc, looking at the photo of your grandfather you posted earlier, you have his eyes!
  19. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    Grandparents dating, April 19, 1919. My grandmother is only 17! Wow!

    Grandparent's wedding, September 1923

    Cousin Melvin, 1918

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