I don’t have many memories of my father when he was alive and most of the memories that I do have of him are not good ones. They are memories of a man suffering for years through a terminal illness which eventually took his life. I don’t remember going to baseball games with him, playing catch, or having him come watch any of the games I played in at school. He passed away when I was 16 years old.
I may not have many memories of my father when he was alive, but it’s obvious to me that he had a major role in shaping my life. Not only have I been told by many of my parent’s friends that I look like my father, but he was also a photographer. I used to spend hours looking through his pictures. There is no doubt that my appreciation of his photography set me on the path to become the photographer I am today.
September 12, 2011 marks what would be my dad’s 100th birthday. In honor of this milestone I have begun to scan a lot of his old photos. Many of them are over 70 years old and show signs of wear. As I scan the images I am drawn in and feel that I am in the pictures. These are the best memories of my dad that I could ask for and some of my most treasured possessions. Please enjoy the memories of times long past. Feel free to comment and check back. I have hundreds of pictures to scan and I’ve only just now begun.
JimThe images in this post are from a photo album titled “A Trip to Yellowstone via The Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota. My father and his cousin made the trip from July 4, 1940 to July 12, 1940. The album is an absolute treasure. Each photo is mounted on black craft paper and my dad used a white pencil to caption each image. I have transferred the descriptions as he wrote them back in 1940. The album is an incredible documentation of not only the trip that my father and his cousin made, but also of the way the highways and the landscape looked not so long ago. The album is 80 pages long, filled with a treasure of images. It will take me many days to scan and restore the images. I intend to finish it as time permits. Call it a labor of love from a son to his father whose memories have all but faded. I hope you enjoy the story of the trip in pictures and descriptions, courtesy of Robert G. Merrill.First Day
Images from the second day of his trip can be seen HERE.