This post is republished from last winter. I thought it would make an excellent addition to Vintage Thingies Thursday.
This is probably my favorite photograph ever. It was taken in a photo booth in a train station one night around midnight, in 1945. In a world where the second great war in a generation had just ended and prosperity was beginning, the woman in the picture was 35 and just married. She's my grandmother, and in a few weeks she will be 98.
In my memory, she has always been old, but looking at her now, I can still clearly see the woman in this picture. Both her beauty and her will, her iron spine. I can see, in both the old woman I know and this young woman, how she came to make it almost all the way through college before the measles took her eye sight, how she grew up working the land, how she cooked in logging camps. How she raised three children to be fantastic people. How, a decade or so after this picture was taken, she moved her young family across several states, away from where they lived near a nuclear testing facility, because she didn't think it right to bring up children somewhere nothing would grow.
The man in the picture, her husband, died before I was born, but lives on in legend as a bare-knuckle boxer during the Depression and a teller of world-famous bullshit stories. I think I would have liked to know him.