Palos Verdes California

film preservation: the 1960s home

Photo preservation is so cool. 

Who doesn't have a box of film slides that has been sitting on the top shelf of a closet for years and years? That dusty container holds precious memories that have been all but forgotten. Many of the people in the images have been gone for at least a generation. Homes, furnishings, cars and gardens look different. Colors and styles have changed. 

By preserving these images, we bring the past back to life. Perhaps we realize that so much of what is gone has come back in style again. Perhaps we see something that inspires us. We reconnect with family and friends we haven't seen for decades. For the first time, we "meet" grandparents and great-grandparents who gave us our appearances and personalities. We discover our love for 1960s Cadillacs or mid-century furniture. We decide to work on our posture. We shop for classic clothes that we hope will still look good forty years from now. We turn off the TV and put down our iPhones. We live for today.

Film slides won't last forever. Even if they have been stored in their original boxes in a climate-controlled space, they are very susceptible to fading, dirt and scratches. As someone who considers these images to be priceless, I recommend preserving digital and print versions of every image. From there, make multiple copies, share with family and friends and store at least one copy of the digital files in a fireproof safe.  

Last summer, I started preserving our family slides and discovered I had a passion for the process. Gerald & Joan now offers film preservation as one of our service lines, and we'd love to help you preserve your family's images. More importantly, we want to encourage you to get those boxes out of the closet. The memories are much too special to lose forever. 

Vintage Palos Verdes, California

For the past year, Palos Verdes, California (and the South Bay area in general) has been recurring theme on this blog (the most recent post was this one). PV was my family's home from 1960 to 1973. When my great-grandmother Elsie passed away in 1973, she asked that the house be sold and that her ashes be spread over the Pacific Ocean near PV. Her three children respected those wishes. Both of her daughters remained in California, but neither one lived in Palos Verdes again. As a child, I don't remember visiting PV very much. I think the first trip we made up the peninsula was in 1994, but I remember that it had a huge impact on me. I wanted to visit PV during every vacation, but I think we only visited one or two other times before Joan's death in 2003. After our first California vacation together in 2005, Jonathan and I began spending more time in the South Bay area, and our day trips to PV became highlights. The combination of the natural beauty of the coastline and the pristine mid-century California homes captured our hearts. After scanning so many film slides over the past few months, it became clear to me that we are drawn there for other reasons as well. It is part of our history and our family's story.

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La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes, California around 1960.

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Palos Verdes, California circa 1960.

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Elsie's home in Palos Verdes, circa 1960.

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A view of the South Bay - Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches -- from Palos Verdes, circa 1960.

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Elsie at the beach, circa 1960.

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Looking up the hill from Elsie's backyard, circa 1960.

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Beautiful mid-century Palos Verdes homes, circa 1960.

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A view of Elsie's backyard in Palos Verdes, taken around 1960.

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Another view of the South Bay, taken around 1960.

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Malaga Cove Plaza, circa 1960.

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And just for fun...a recent shot of the same fountain!

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Also in Malaga Cove Plaza was the Palos Verdes General Store, circa 1960.

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Here's the same building in recent years.

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A view of La Venta Inn, looking down over Elsie's house, circa 1960.

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Me and Jonathan in that same spot on our first trip to PV together in 2005. Elsie's house is to our right with the skylight.

All of the above images from 1960 are from our family's film archives and were scanned and converted to digital images by Gerald and Joan. If you are interested in having us scan and preserve your family's film slides or images, contact us here. The recent images of California were taken by my mother.

Beach Inspiration on a Winter Day

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While the majority of the country is suffering through weather conditions that only a polar bear would appreciate, Southern Californians are enjoying their shorts and flip flops. While this hardly seems fair, at least we can enjoy these photographs and pretend that we can feel the sun's warmth on our legs and sand between our toes.... Oh spring, you can't get here fast enough. Stay warm, my friends!

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Photos taken by my mother during a visit to her childhood home of Palos Verdes, California.

On the Road: Christmas at the Beach

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Today we're sharing some photos of our favorite place at Christmastime. The South Bay at Christmas isn't your typical Christmas setting, but it's still very charming. Here's the Manhattan Beach Pier all decorated for the holidays:

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Manhattan's neighbor, Hermosa Beach, has a large Christmas tree on their pier.

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I love the shell ornament!

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It always surprises me to see roses blooming in December. Here's one in Joan's backyard in 2010:

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Also, in Joan's backyard, oranges...

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And flowering Jade...

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The views from Palos Verdes are spectacular all year round, but they are serene in December:

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La Venta Inn, which is located next door to Elsie's old home:

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The sunsets are always showstoppers:

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It is far from traditional, but California isn't a bad place to be at Christmastime!

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All photos taken in 2010 during this trip.