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Thread: Sentimental old photos - what to do with them?

  1. #31
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    On a related topic, I still have in my possession a large pastel portrait done of me when I was 12 or 13. It was a thing in San Antonio where I grew up to have pastel or oil portraits done of one's daughters back then. Several years back, I removed it from its gilded frame and stuck it away since I felt weird getting rid of it. And when I got the photo boxes out of the closet to go through the other day, there was that stupid portrait staring at me from behind the boxes. It has got to go so I will ask DH to dispose of it.

  2. #32
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    On a related topic, I still have in my possession a large pastel portrait done of me when I was 12 or 13. It was a thing in San Antonio where I grew up to have pastel or oil portraits done of one's daughters back then. Several years back, I removed it from its gilded frame and stuck it away since I felt weird getting rid of it. And when I got the photo boxes out of the closet to go through the other day, there was that stupid portrait staring at me from behind the boxes. It has got to go so I will ask DH to dispose of it.
    There was one of those in my family, a portrait of me. I donít remember what happened to it but I donít think anyone was sad to see ago even my mother. It didnít look especially like me it was done from a photograph

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by KayLR View Post
    My aunt was really eccentric. She was beautiful, artistic, outgoing, loving and gregarious. My cousin (her daughter) is 1/5 in these categories. She was clearing out stuff of her mom's (who'd passed away) and was about to chuck a HUMONGOUS portrait of our grandmother (aunt's mother) as a young woman, probably in her teens. It's a really unusual photo; looks like it's taken outside of either a circus or revival tent in Colorado probably during the Dust Bowl, and she's wearing a fedora-like hat. I love it, but my aunt had it way blown up and framed in a heavy, gold frame -- it is probably 3-1/2 feet tall. I couldn't let her throw it in the dumpster, so it's now in my bedroom.

    Everyone in the family laughs because I have this monster-sized picture of grandma as a girl, and now I'm not sure what to do with it. It seems disrespectful somehow to just toss it.

    Love to see that. That was the local of my grandfathers cousin.

  4. #34
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    AFter my mom died, I brought home about 25 containers of half-filled photo albums, packets of snapshots, old photographs, framed family portraits, etc. I parked them in an extra bedroom, set up a desk and a TV and used the next winter to sort. I kept what I wanted, gave a bunch to my brother, sent some to other relatives. Everything else, I took with me to a family reunion and told them I wasn't bringing it back. My next step was to sort again and organize what I kept. I ended up with some I didn't want. I took an evening and poured a glass of wine and burned them in an outdoor fire pit. It seemed more respectful than just throwing them away.
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

  5. #35
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beckyliz View Post
    AFter my mom died, I brought home about 25 containers of half-filled photo albums, packets of snapshots, old photographs, framed family portraits, etc. I parked them in an extra bedroom, set up a desk and a TV and used the next winter to sort. I kept what I wanted, gave a bunch to my brother, sent some to other relatives. Everything else, I took with me to a family reunion and told them I wasn't bringing it back. My next step was to sort again and organize what I kept. I ended up with some I didn't want. I took an evening and poured a glass of wine and burned them in an outdoor fire pit. It seemed more respectful than just throwing them away.
    I have done the wine drinking/burning in fireplace ritual! Yes, it honors people and memories in a way that tossing into a landfill does not, it seems. That also keeps the objects out of the hands of others, like nosy neighbors. We have communal du,psters here.

  6. #36
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    Me, too! I throw in white sage and say a prayer, and I think that helps, too.

  7. #37
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    My mom threw hers out in a apartment dumpster and I found it a little sad. She said that’s life and she was right because no one has been burdened by pictures of people that they don’t even know. I told my kids they can take what they want now and I can dispose of the rest or they can after I am gone. They have chosen door # 2. My youngest is more sentimental than my oldest. The reality is with no grandchildren everything ends with them. Even if I had grandchildren no guarantee they would want any of it. That’s the reality that I think some people are trying to deny.

  8. #38
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    My mom threw hers out in a apartment dumpster and I found it a little sad. She said that’s life and she was right because no one has been burdened by pictures of people that they don’t even know. I told my kids they can take what they want now and I can dispose of the rest or they can after I am gone. They have chosen door # 2. My youngest is more sentimental than my oldest. The reality is with no grandchildren everything ends with them. Even if I had grandchildren no guarantee they would want any of it. That’s the reality that I think some people are trying to deny.
    I don’t consider interest in family history sentimental. I respect the valuing of family lore and artifacts as a worthwhile exercise in intellectual curiosity. How our ancestors fit into their times is part of our country’s history and culture.

    But there are ways to reduce the burden of old family photos. Organize them, mark them, toss the bad ones. Get rid of the ones of people no one knows if there really IS no way to identify them. Reduce the collection to a shoebox or two. The much favored albums take up tons of room. If you have more than a couple of shoeboxes, digitize them onto a thumb drive. A small organized collection could well be valuable to future generations and keeping that small collection for them shouldn't be much of a burden.

    I was delighted to hook up with a distant cousin who had carefully organized family photos, quality ones, onto a thumb drive. the organization and the captioning was key to my enjoyment. If these things had been dumped into a box and hand it to me I would’ve been frantic with annoyance.

    Once they are tossed, they are gone forever. But really, a mass of generations of family photos that has not been curated is indeed a burden.

    My mother made noise about taking a weekend to “ go through boxes of photos” when I paid her a visit. I made a stab at it one time and found she was unable to toss any of them. I smiled, and put them back up on a high shelf in the closet saying I would look at them another time.

    I won’t enter into cleaning/sorting/organizing project where I cannot throw anything away. It is a waste of my time otherwise.

    i’m reaching the tail end of my book sorting work and I have now officially touched every book I own. That touch has to be productive. I touch it and it goes into the landfill or a pile for sale or the pile for the bookseller. I touch it and it goes into a pile to keep. I touch it and it goes into a pile that is ...questionable about keeping because I probably love it, but do I love it enough to keep? This last category will be “touched twice” books. And some of them will probably even be touched three times.

    I believe I have reduced everything to the available bookshelves I have in our living room. Somewhere around 200 books from 800 books so that is progress.

    As I do this, I spoke aloud to DH about my sorting criteria, how I’m going about it, my plan to finish it, and etc. – just to give him an idea as to here’s how you organize and clean out stuff. He is going to have a huge day of reckoning when the time comes that we leave our city house and everything in it belongs to him. And he has to clean it out. Wont be my problem.

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