I love, love love old photos, and up until recently have had what I think is a pretty impressive collection of them. I lucked into a giant suitcase full of snapshots at a flea market a few years ago, and since then have not really been able to justify purchasing more.
Aren't they lovely? The whole collection-- at least 600 pictures-- all belonged to the same family. There was a little bit of information about the people in the photos-- not much, but just enough to do a little research. So every year or so, in a desultory sort of way, I would plug the names I had into Google and see what turned up.
Well, I finally got somewhere, and contacted a member of the family. Her sister called me on Friday, and it looks like I'm giving the photos back tomorrow. Of course, I feel like it's the right thing to do-- this is her family history, and I could tell how thrilled she was to learn they hadn't been lost for good. But it *is* a little bit of a wrench, and I'm going to miss them.
Here's the fun part, though: when I told my mom about this, she produced a giant trove of family photos I'd never seen before in my life! All these amazing snaps of my grandmother and great-aunt traveling in Europe in the '50s, and a whole album of my great-grandparents in the 1920s. And she asked me if I wanted to scan them, so she could make photobooks for the rest of the family! I totally believe in karma now.
So now I have another amazing heap of old photos to work through, and this time the people in them are related to me!
Of course, since I'm giving up the bulk of my vintage photo collection, I'm totally justified in buying new ones at Big Flea.
3 weeks ago