Discovering the Family Stories

Recently, I inherited boxes and boxes of Kodak slides from the 1940s through the 1970s. Many of them haven't been viewed in my lifetime, and as I've previously mentioned, I'm approaching the 30-year mark this Sunday. Basically, they've been in storage for a long time. Along with the slides, I have a vintage light box and other various viewers. My mother also has two projectors and a screen from the same era. In the few weeks that the slides have been in my possession, I have learned so much about my family. There are so many photos and memories that had been forgotten. Seeing them again is like getting to see our loved ones again. It is a wonderful feeling.

As if by fate, I purchased a new printer and scanner around the time the slides came home from storage with me, and the scanner has a mechanism that allows for film and slide scanning. I have begun scanning hundreds of our family's slides, and have been thrilled with the results. As the mission of our business is to preserve history through design, the irony of the slides and scanner entering my life at the same time was not lost on me. It fits what we set out to accomplish with this business perfectly.

In the coming days, we'll share these new Gerald & Joan offerings, including slide scanning and preservation. If you have memories in dusty Kodak boxes, we hope you'll consider hiring us to convert your slides to DVDs or even take the process a step further and preserve them in albums or photo books. We have personally found so much happiness from our own family memories, and we would love to preserve other people's family treasures the exact same way.

Here are a few of our family memories that we've rediscovered recently.


This is Joan on Easter Sunday by the coy pond in her landlord's backyard in Gardena.  She is wearing a suit that her mother bought her at Silverwoods in Del Amo (see a 1965 ad from the store here. Her pin and the pearl earrings were also gifts from Elsie that she brought back from a trip to the Orient. (My mother helped with the details here).


My mother at home in California. She is sitting in front of the picture that now hangs in our living room. Here is that same picture in our old house. You can see barely see the Christmas tree in this shot.


Here she is again with one of the lamps that is in our living room today. Check out the TV and the little Christmas elf that is hanging from the lamp.


My great-grandmother's sister Myrtle Robb, who was known as Mickey, and her mother, my great-great-grandmother and namesake, Laura Dumm, who was known as Grandy, at home in Ohio in the mid 1960s.


Kent W. Benham, who was known as Mr. B, in Ohio, before most of our family relocated to California.


My great-grandmother, Elsie, and Mr. B on their wedding day.


Another shot of the couple on their wedding day.


Oscar Tener, Grandy's neighbor and lifelong friend. Here he is working in his garden. He was also an avid clock master.


Aunt Mickey (left) and my great-great-grandmother, Grandy, (center) with Joan's brother's wife and her parents in Ohio in the mid '60s.