. 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. .