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11 May 2006
When I was doing some of my VHS-DVD transfers, I came across a videotape that my Aunt Marie (who died several years ago) had made with her son, which tells the story of the Scott family and all of her siblings and their various spouses (there were lots of spouses among the 10 siblings when you consider that every single person was married more than once and Aunt Mel, the oldest, was married 13 times).
I made a very brief video (see left, "Valley Springs"), contrasting what Aunt Marie recorded about the family farm in Valley Springs with photos of a trip that I took with my mother and Aunt Barb back to Valley Springs to see if we could find the family farmhouse (it has since been torn down, but about 8 years ago, when we made the trip, it was still standing).
Marie's videotape, however, continues on at great length and includes a lot of pretty bad quality photos and I found it frustrating that this was all done in the day before digital photos, scanning, etc. was as common (and as advanced) as it is now. I asked my cousin if she knew what had happened to the photos after Marie died and it turns out that she, as the family historian, had them all. She was thrilled when I volunteered to scan them for her.
I wasn't quite aware of the size of the project I'd undertaken until I received the "first shipment" of photos today, a huge package of pictures, most of which have no identification on them whatsoever. My cousin Shirley (also now dead) had started writing up identification for the ones she knew, but it's just a sheet of paper with names and dates--and no indication of which photo she is talking about!
So this is going to be an interesting project.
I scanned the first photo, which is about 1" x 1½" in size and came up with a decent size photo, which took a lot of Photoshopping to get it to look all right, but I was rather pleased with the end result.
This is my uncle Roger (6 years older than my mother) and his first wife Vi. My Aunt Barb wrote, of Roger (also known as "Scotty"):
Scotty was in the Air Corps during WWII. His career as a "belly gunner" in the B29 bomber took him over Germany, where the allies were bombing enemy positions. On his third raid overe Naziland, his plane was shot down. Luckily, he had time to bail out, but while parachuting down into enemy territory, he was hit in the legs with enemy shrapnel.
In less than fifteen minutes after landing, the French and Dutch underground partisans were there to give him cigarettes and a sandwich. They departed just minutes before the Germans arrived. When the Nazi Captain learned that the partisans had already helped Scotty, he became enraged and threatened to have him put before a firing squad immediately. For some reason, this did not happen. Instead, he was carted off to the local jail.
Scotty spent almost a year in a concentration camp before the war ended and his stories about life in the war camps ran the gamut of horror to comedy. (I wrote about some of those stories here.)
When the troop ships were bringing home thousands of veterans from Europe, Scotty got himself assigned to kitchen duty on board ship. By the time he arrived in New York City and home, he had gained back the fifty pounds he had lost in the prison camp.
It's interesting to look at these photos along with the writings of Aunt Barb, who now can't remember that she ever wrote anything -- and usually can't remember anybody in her family either. I suspect that this is going to be a time consuming, but interesting/fun project.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
My grandmother, Lucy Grace Kirkpatrick