Mississippi Plow Generations

Among the old family slides, was this image of one of my great-great uncles, also known as my great-grandmother’s brother, with a very old plow, and I don’t know about the horse. This is the branch of family tree descended directly from Ireland, from a young man age thirteen, traveling alone, who arrived in New Orleans from Ireland in 1847. The license plate on the mobile home says “Mississippi” and “Lauderdale” and 1963. I thought this photo was interesting because that plow is the kind of plow my grandfather and his brothers used when they were growing up, and if they didn’t have a horse or a mule for the day, then one of them had to pull the plow. I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been to plow entire fields that way in that Southern heat. But they did, they were sharecroppers, farmers. I mentioned this in a previous post about the photographic work of Walker Evans. So that’s a bit of cultural history there. Another photo from the same trip shows all the cars parked in the yard between the house and the mobile home. It isn’t so common a thing out this way, in this part of the country, or maybe anymore at all, but back then, it was very common for more than one generation to be living on the same piece of land, if not in the same house. So the trailer was home to my great-great-uncle and aunt, and the house was home to their daughter, my third cousin, and her family. It was also much more common back in those days to know the members of one’s extended family. Incidentally, Uncle Bradley was seven feet tall. His granddaughter was my fourth cousin, who was only eighteen months older than me. I grew up knowing these people, hearing these stories. It’s interesting to see some of these photos again.




Cars in the yard. Lauderdale, Mississippi, 1963/64


My fourth cousin and me (on the right), San Diego, California, 1970


My fourth cousin and me (on the right), Gulfport, Mississippi, 1981 – We unintentionally wore the same colors we were wearing in the photo from when we were little.



I’ve been scanning those 35mm slides. Though there are many pictures that are of interest to me, personally, every now and then there’s a gem in the mix that’s just some cool scenery or timecapsule, old cars on the road in their time, and so on. I think these are interesting. The featured/cover photo was taken somewhere in Idaho in 1960-61. I think it’s a stunning image. The slides aren’t in any kind of order anymore and I’m using my grandmother’s handwritten notes to sort them out, as well as using clues in the photos themselves.

So far, there have also been these…

Somewhere in the La Sal Mountains, Utah, 1960/61



Guessing Utah or thereabouts, same trip as La Sal and Idaho pictures. 1960/61



Windshield view photo taken by my grandmother, driving through Texas, the early 1960s. Billboard to the right says “Lubbock Dodge”.



Flooding, somewhere in Mississippi or Louisiana, December 1961


There’s an old photograph of me sitting on a front porch with my grandfather and great-grandmother that I thought was somewhere in Mississippi, having got my wires crossed from so many trips, but it wasn’t, it was in a little parish town in Louisiana. Thankful for my grandmother’s notations. I’ve always had a tremendous sense of nostalgia, not quite a quarter of the way through these pictures, looking forward to seeing what other treasures they hold.


Front Porch in Louisiana,1970

35mm Slides, A Legacy

The featured image is a picture of my grandfather holding two great big Catfish. The photo was taken by my grandmother. The photo is from a collection of 35mm slides given to me by my grandfather five months prior to his death. He also gave me the slide projector, and screen. The slides were all originally in dozens of carousels, which were cumbersome to store, though I have some of them. At that time, my wonderful husband purchased for me an expensive Epson Scanner/Printer. You know how those work, if the ink runs out, the scanner won’t function. Eventually, not only did the ink run out, repeatedly, but the pads were saturated to the point of deterioration and replacement parts were impossible to find as technology had moved on. As was my mission, I was able to get most of the pictures of people, old family photos, scanned and I shared them all, sending photo discs, to family. But there were hundreds of slides left unscanned.

Over the course of the last year, I began thinking about the unscanned slides and realized that they aren’t just old family photos or old vacation photos, there are images that are a matter of some historical significance in that they are of a particular time. I determined to get a new scanner for 35mm slides and old negatives, and now I have one.

I don’t intend to share a myriad of personal old family photos, but if there’s something interesting in the mix, I’ll load that up. They often bought souvineir slides as well, and some of those are kind of neat to see. I wanted to share the photo of my grandfather as this was his legacy to me, this was his hobby, besides fishing. This will be quite the undertaking, in addition to my writing, but it will be a worthwhile one.



Indio Date Festival, 1967