Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ansel Adams: our family has unattributed photos

Some history I need to record.

There are unattributed photos of Ansel Adams in two publications: Arizona Highways, put out iirc by the state of Arizona, and The Highway Magazine, put out by Armco Steel of our hometown Middletown, Ohio, now AK Steel.

My grandfather Walter Herbert Spindler met Ansel Adams in 1958 [possibly 59] as a fellow nature photographer. My mother has the 4-6 issues of Arizona Highways with unattributed Ansel Adams photos: I will TRY to get you the dates. 1930's - 40's - early 50's she thinks, and promises to look them up at home. They also contain photos by a younger Barry Goldwater. We also have decades of The Highway Magazine with the first Adams in 1916 then jumping to the mid 20's and continuing on for decades. My cousin Steve Spindler [a cartographer---surprise?] in Jenkintown, suburban Philadelphia, has these issues.

Granddad was a photographer of the building of the Alaskan Highway in 1943, because he felt he had to be there. Is there a better reason?? Does this sound like any egregious characters you know?

Granddad also met Mt. Rushmore and Stone Mountain sculptor Gutzon Borglum. They met in 1936 at Mt. Rushmore when the sculpture wasn't yet finished. He saw Borglum's work at Stone Mountain in approx 1933, apparently they ran out of money...for 50 years. The project was later finished.

This is from the absolutely non-ADHD part of the family. Yet amazingly artistic/creative! I always thot of them as the calm engineering people and yet here is the desire to explore and the appreciation of beauty. A cousin on this side of the family has wintered over at the South Pole 3 times including in the early years before DVD's. Another cousin lives in China. And yr own egregious works in Russia. We inherited the explorer gene for sure. We have SO many slides [children, that is how people used to keep photos in the dinosaur days] of individual flowers.

I don't know what else to say about this except that I promise to extract more details from my mother tomorrow before she embarks on her first trip to Paris.

JUST when you think you know your family...


egregious said...

Let's explore!

What's on your mind?

NZ Expat said...

Morning egregious! Woke up at 3 am to monitor a rapid cycling kiddo across the ocean. Time for praying and patience.

There is an interesting article this morning in NY Times on the insulata, a part of the brain that regulates interaction between rationality and feelings. Take a look.

Also, I read from a little book of Buddhism, called Living with Uncertainty. I sort of skip the technical Buddha stuff, but let myself be soothed and challenged by the other comments.

And the side benefit of all this wakefulness is reading the early fdl posts and comments that I don't usually get to until hours past the time, if at all.

kristinejoy said...

I can relate about the family slide shows! We would bust them out like once a year and look at them. We have hundreds of slides and thousands of pictures. My grandfather's family would go camping in Yosemite valley, and we have a picture of my uncle as a young boy sitting on the edge of half-dome. My grandfather built the first plane in the San Joaquin Valley in 1927.

They were also circus performers--though not really in circuses. They did a thrill act, 120ft rigging with two sway poles on the top. My grandfather built it entirely himself, and they traveled around doing fairs all over the country.

My mom as a single mom in the 60s (before I was born) still traveled and did the act summers with her teenagers, my brother and sister.

For every gig they put up the aerial act themselves, so my memories of my mom are hammering in 6ft tall stakes made from old truck axels into the ground for the guy lines with a 16lb sledgehammer--in her forties, when I was born. She is still the most physically powerful presence I have ever known.

My brother has been scanning the photos, though I think he bogged down at 2000 photos scanned.

I never take photos though. I don't want my memories to be reduced to a single image. Those photos hide a legacy of pain for my mother that she has just started to acknowledge in her 70's. When she goes, most of the stories will go, but in a way I'm okay with that. Her stories are her life, and I don't need them verbatim, because I will always carry her with me. Its a large part of who I am.

egregious said...


Hey I found that nyt article on the brain's insula.

Very interesting. Need some time to think how I feel about it, or as in the article, feel how I think about it :)