Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lost and Found.

First let me preface this with a bit of information here.

A friend of mine from way back -like first grade, ya know -has a granddaughter who is now already in her late 20s and the granddaughter lives in a suburb of Chicago. She also just happens to be a lot like me in that she is interested in the history behind this little village where I live and where she grew up. And as such, several years ago now, she started a page on Facebook about the town and its history as much as anyone who is interested in this topic would be willing to share pictures -old, old, old pictures - of the way the place looked back in the early days of the 1900s and also, even older photos that were of various places that used to exist in the ghost town about 2 miles down the road from my house.

I loved the way this young lady was thinking and the pictures she had taken while home for a brief visit of how some buildings around here look today and so, we started to communicate and little by little, tried to spread the word on Facebook as to what was going on here with this site.

However, because Chicago area is a fairly good distance from here, she doesn't get back home very often and since I live here, she asked if I would consider handling the webpage she had set up as she felt I would have more access to various items of interest to those who still reside here and also, to people who had long ago moved away too.

And so, that's how I came to be the so-called "Administrator"of this little page on Facebook called Grassflat Grown!

Over the years -probably almost 8 years now -I've tried to get folks to come forward with old pictures they might have laying around and scan them in and then post them to this page. I've also tried from time to time to locate articles about people who lived here, or events from the past to share with those who are interested in this page.

In the beginning, we had several areas set up on the site where folks could log in and post things they remembered about living here, growing up here, teachers many of us had back in the good old days and well, just sharing memories is what it was really all about.

And that's how things went for about the first two years we had this site going and then, out of the blue, with no notification at all from Facebook, they changed our format and actually wiped out all the memory pages we had set up. The only thing they didn't disturb, thankfully, were the photos people had come forward and shared on the page!

Since then, much of the stuff that has been being put on this page has been a long litany of obituaries as people from here passed away and people who used to live here and still have friends in this area have also passed on and if word reaches back here to me and if I can locate an obituary for those who used to reside here, I transcribe it or scan it in and post that information here. Sharing obituaries in that way is also a little bit of an assist for those who may be doing family tree research and are looking for data about a member of their family and this way, we make it available as we can. 

Today though, while up at the grocery store, one of the young girls who works as a cashier there and I were talking and I was telling her that I had just seen a posting on the above mentioned page of a confirmation class photo that just so happened to have been the class this girl's grandfather had been part of and so, I told her to check out the photo on this page of him with his confirmation class.

I knew this picture would be of particular interest to this young lady because her grandfather -who was only about two years older than me - had been killed in an accident in a deep mine located about 15 miles from here. He was just a young man then, probably in his late twenties, married and the father of three small children. One of those children -the oldest-being this girl's father. And as I told her about the picture, I could see, and tell, by her eyes and her overall reaction that she was definitely interested in looking on this site and viewing this photo of a man her Dad had barely known and who of course,she never knew at all.

She pulled out her cellphone -with internet access -and logged into our little page and tried to click through the photos there but couldn't locate the photo I had told her about.So she thought perhaps this evening after she got home from work, she could check this out further on her home computer..

Well, tonight I got to thinking about this and realized I could go into the site, locate the photo and tag her in the photo so she would get a notification on facebook and then, just be able to click the link the tag would provide and then, be able to view the photo and also, able then to share the picture with her Dad as well as his little sister and brother then too.

It sounded to me like a darned good plan until that is I went to the webpage and began hunting for that particular photo and was unable to locate it! I knew it had actually been posted there about 2 years ago and I also knew who had posted it too but be darned if I could locate it. So I contacted another friend of mine who is also very interested in local history and old photos and told her my dilemma. She, it turned out, had just come a cross an old photo of the interior of a church that used to exist here and was going to post it tonight to the site,so as soon as she posted it, she notified me and I clicked in to view that picture.

It was after viewing that picture that I decided to click on other photos in the same album area and after going through a large number of photos that had NOT come up when I had been searching earlier the confirmation photo popped up! WOW! Talk about a lucky break!I tagged it to the young lady I had told about this photo and within a matter of minutes, she responded to tell me she had viewed the picture and how much she appreciated my telling her about this.

Now I still have yet to figure out exactly where this picture is currently located -in which album -but at least I know it's still there -along with several other old photos of the same type.

And this thought then came to my mind through all of this that this page and the photos on it, the comments and various other things we've managed to acquire for it, all of that comes together then kind of likea special type of musical group that,without a way to keep time properly, the potential for good and interesting music evaporates.

It has to all come together with each element doing it's own part in order to keep the beat going strong, you see.

And keeping track of these precious old photos,the stories we get from time to time -all of this has to be able to function like its own metronome then, you see!

Perhaps a bit of an off-beat way to explain the importance I view in keeping this page alive and well for a long time to come!

1 comment:

Jocelyn said...

What a service you're offering to everyone who loves your area and who has familial connections tied into place.

Your story about losing memory pages hits home with me: I just lost all my blog comments since 2006, and I'm sick about it. So I'm looking back at the previous incarnation of my blog to help me remember who to visit! You're one of them, for sure.