This week’s prompt asks us to write about a photograph. I’ve done this many times before and recently adopted a new methodology that I use in my “Writing from and about Photographs” workshop (next one is September 14–see my website for details).
This time I chose to write about my paternal grandfather’s home, a 1913 corner lot house that he and my grandmother moved into in 1949. I took photos of the house in the early 1990s, but the owner–who had bought the house from my father in 1969 after my grandfather died–refused me permission to look inside.
It’s curious that a family that had lived for nearly thirty years in a two-bedroom apartment (and four kids) behind their mom-and-pop store on the main street would move to this bigger house when their children were already adults. I’m thinking my grandparents thought of it as more of a real estate investment and indeed they had bought some properties, including the apartment building where their store occupied the ground floor, and some properties in New Jersey beach towns.
But sometime between the early 1990s and now, someone completely revised the structure and got rid of all the charm and even the curbside tree. Not all renovation is an improvement. The house is boring now, stripped of stained-glass windows, an enclosed porch with awning, columns, and a Dutch colonial second floor.
Which old photo will you write about?