Love And Memory

HENSHAW Grace1_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 late

This is a very special post of photobooth photos from one of my blog readers, Sherri. I have tried to present this story mainly in Sherri’s own words.

“My love for photobooth images comes from those that I have of my mother.  She was killed in an auto accident when I was just 7 months old, so all I have of her are photos, no memories.  My favorite photos of her have always been the photobooth strips.  It may sound silly or strange, but I feel like they are the next best thing to having a memory of her.  In those strips, I feel like I can feel how she was feeling in the booth, trying out poses, smiling, laughing.

They are all attached to a page in my baby book. (See the full page, below). There are also booth photos of my maternal grandmother (who, by the way, is the person who raised me after my mother’s death).

I found a note in the baby book telling that the photos taken in July, 1967  in a Fort Wayne, Indiana KMart store.  The other booth images would also have been taken in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but I can’t be sure of the store.
 
My mother was Grace Charline (nee Henshaw) Sloan, born December 26, 1949 and died October 7, 1967.  My name is Sherri Lynn and I was born March 5, 1967.  My grandmother’s name was Mary Louis (nee Shenfeld) Didion, born February 6, 1925.”
HENSHAW Grace1_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug
Sherri has a wonderful vintage photo blog The Rescued Photo, which I encourage you to visit. She meticulously researches the lives of the sitter/s from any scant detail she can glean from a scribbled name or note. Sherri’s philosophy about blogging is closely related to her feelings about her photobooth photos of her mother – that the story behind the images allow the person, or people in them, to live on.
 
Most unusually and unselfishly, Sherri will give the photos back to family members. However it is not always an easy process.
 

“I  hope that someday relatives will find my posts.  So far, I’ve only located one relative of a photograph but not one I’ve blogged about. They said they would love to have the photo and would send me their address, but they never did.  I followed up once and still didn’t hear back.  I noticed they’re using the photo in their ancestry family tree, so maybe the digital copy was enough for them.

I did find a home for the most recent photo I blogged – Orlo C Mathews and his brothers.  Orlo is the survivor of the Sultana maritime disaster. While researching him, I discovered a book he owned (about the Sultana) is housed in the Bedford Ohio Historical Society Museum.  I contacted them and they are excited to add the photo to the book.  Imagine how much more interesting it will be for people to be able to see a photo of the man who owned the book and survived the disaster!  I’m so thrilled with how that turned out!  I hope to have more of those moments!

Just like my blogging about photos I find, makes me feel like I’m helping the people in the images to live on, I feel like that’s what you will be doing for me by blogging the photos of my mother.

HENSHAW Grace2_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 AugHENSHAW Grace1 1967 Aug
HENSHAW Grace5_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11HENSHAW Grace4_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11
HENSHAW Grace3_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11HENSHAW Grace2_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11
HENSHAW Grace1_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11
SHENFELD Mary4_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Jul 14

Sherri with her maternal grandmother, who raised her.

SHENFELD Mary3_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Jul 14SHENFELD Mary_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Jul 14

photoboothSherriMumGrandmum

The complete page from Sherri’s baby book.

30 comments
  1. John said:

    This is a beautiful yet sad story Katherine. The mum is beautiful, the baby soooo cute! I hope you’ve been feeling well. ❤️X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John. She is so gorgeous, isn’t she? I feel honoured that Sherri trusted me with her photos and personal story. (Feeling okay at the moment. Hope you are okay, too! ❤️)

      Like

  2. The story reminds me of a short story I wrote many years ago based on a teacher of mine in Leicester. Though the bulk of the tale is fiction, I used the teacher’s real name. It never occurred that anyone would recognise who he was, as it was such a long time ago, and he was American. That in itself was fairly unusual for a nondescript English MIdlands city in the 1960s

    Amazingly a member his family got in touch with me through my blog. I had described him well enough for them to make the connection. I was informed there’s a photo of him on ancestry.com so I looked him up. Sure enough, there was Mr Touchette smiling out at me; bow tie, glass eye and all, more or less as I had remembered him.

    His full name was Robert Francis Touchette. Here’s the link to the entry page:

    http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?gl=allgs&gsfn=Francis&gsln=Touchette&gss=seo&ghc=20

    His photos are listed as RFT 004, RFT 005 and RFT 006. I remember him from the RFT 006.

    And here’s a link to the short story – The New Teacher:

    https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2171-2/

    His family member’s comments can be read below the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Phew, Bryan. That is the longest piece I’ve read from start to finish in one go in ages. It was funny and gripping at the same time. You lads had incredible imaginations! Makes my school days seem so dull. Your Mr Touchette would’ve been thrilled at the class mourning his loss in such an emotional and vociferous way. I wonder if anyone ever let him know.

      Unfortunately I was unable to see his likeness in the photo link. You need to be a subscriber. Thanks for sharing that story. I loved it!

      Like

      • Thanks so much, for your kind comment.

        The ancestry page does contain the three photographs I mention and you can see them without having to join. You just have to scroll down the page a little way. There are actually four photos featuring Mr Touchette and his life, but the first is of a warship. The second is of him receiving a medal, another one of him posed with the medal. The fourth is the one that made me know that my Mr Touchette and it were the same person. It even looks as though it might have been shot in a photobooth.

        He never actually boasted about his war exploits, and never said he’d been decorated, I only found out about that after I’d published the story on wordpress. That I’d actually painted a reasonably accurate picture – after knowing him for a relatively short while – came as a pleasant surprise.

        As the collective name ‘An American Trilogy’ suggests, there are two other stories. The remaining two concern the same episode seen from different perspectives by different people at different times. They are recounted in three very distinct styles. Nearly all the events in the other two are entirely fictional.

        For those interested I have taken the liberty of posting the links here:

        https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/an-american-abroad-an-america-trilogy-2/

        https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/an-american-trilogy-3-an-american-husband/

        Liked by 1 person

        • He had a fascinating history. You brought him to life so vividly in the story. I will look to see if I can find the photos. Cheers!

          Like

          • He was a good looking guy. One can barely make out his artificial eye. I am sure the family would’ve appreciated your immortalising him online. Amazing that they found the story.

            Like

  3. Brett said:

    Love the backstory on these photos! Very touching. All these pictures are wonderful, but I especially like the photos of her mother in curlers knowing that she would have to have traveled out in public to a photobooth for these pictures to have been taken (maybe coming from what were then called beauty parlors). Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Brett. Having been born in the 60s I was just old enough to recall seeing ladies out and about with their hair in rollers, covered by scarves in the exact same way. Maybe they were in the vicinity of a beauty parlour, I’m not sure. Makes for some brilliant photobooth pics, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cate. I imagine you would remember ‘trying’ to sleep in rollers. I simply cannot imagine you actually got any!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Inese. Sherri will love that!

      Yes, it is a very sad story but also one of hope and resilience, especially on the part of Sherri’s grandmother. Having to grieve for her daughter and take on the full time care of her grandchild, at a time when she would have expected a more leisurely life, must’ve been difficult for all that it would have been rewarding.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. elmediat said:

    An excellent example of how a blog presentation extends context and message as it combines words, images and hypertext links. The emotional layers and the linkage to the other blog builds a sequence of experiences for the viewer that are unique to blogs and social media. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. therescuedphoto said:

    Most of the time, thinking about my mother brings me sadness. So, I was quite surprised when I saw her photos featured here, on your blog, and yes, I had tears in my eyes, but it was different…I felt happiness. She died so young and didn’t get to touch as many peoples’ lives as she should have, but I feel like, through this post, she’s been given that chance that she didn’t get in life. I can’t thank you enough, Kate! You’ve given my mother a place to shine forever…in the hearts and minds of every viewer.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. And shine she did, Sherri… even with a head full of curlers. I’m sorry you did not have the chance to know her, but she will live on in these photos.

    A lovely post, Kate.

    Liked by 1 person

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