I continue to be intrigued by photos. My cousin sent me this photo of his father with our grandmother and her aunt. We don’t know exactly where or when the photo was taken, although I could assume since my uncle’s in uniform, that it could be around 1943. At first I thought the high school was behind them and they were attending my youngest uncle’s 1943 graduation. But then I looked at the trees and it doesn’t look like June at all. Maybe it’s not even north Jersey. Maybe it’s the Lower East Side, since my great-great-aunt lived on East 4th Street between Avenues A & B. In the piece I wonder about the aunt’s role as a substitute mother to my grandmother, who left home in Austria-Hungary in 1913, and never saw her mother again.
For this week, I’m writing about what’s lost and what’s found among genealogical objects.
Someone asked me last week, “How do you know when a piece is ready to send out?” I guess my response is that I’m more inclined to know when it’s not ready. There’s something that just doesn’t feel right in my gut. I may not be satisfied with the piece’s voice, throughline, or structure. The solution is always to dig deeper, do some freewrites. Let the piece breathe and find its way instead of rushing to send it out.
The situation I’ve described applies to my “boys go off to war” piece. Using the methodologies from Emily Stoddard’s “Staying True” revision program, I think I have finally found my throughline and a structure. But I’m still not done. I’m researching Victory mail (V-mail) and D-day coverage in Stars & Stripes.
I’ll keep you posted.