From a faded and yellowed world of a grandfather's 1920s/30s stove factory to the black and white recovery, and then on to an imagined colorized version. A great photo and a fun one to work on.
A handsome fellow he was, Joseph Calabria Jr. (yes, I married a "lll"). A military photo from WWll when he was in Hawaii brought back before fading away forever.
Grandfather, Noble, was a child once. What kind of child with his long locks and impish smile I wonder. I know he was the curious sort; because he was when I knew him as an older man, and it is not the sort of trait you lose. He always had Scientific America magazine in the bathroom and tinkered with his own experiments: growing a huge tomato plant or placing peanut butter crackers on the window sill to see how the squirrels would react (in very funny ways, I remember). I am not positive but I think he would have thought long-legged Texas flies beautiful.
Here is a damaged snapshot from when Kelly's aunt was a little girl.
I was asked to create something for her aunt's birthday.
"Up to you, but she does love birds" I was told. Her aunt loved it.
So imagine leaving your homeland in the late 1800s to come to America with a tiny child in tow. You get here not knowing the language. Why did you come? No man travels with you. Perhaps you are a single mother? Perhaps unwed? Running away? There are more questions than answers. That is the case with these two women who look anything but happy to be standing side by side. While working on the restoration I just knew there had to be a story. The owner of the photo is a 96 year old woman and this is her mother and grandmother. I invited myself over to her house to meet her and find out more about the photo. Naomi and her daughter, Nana, were very hospitable. Taco, the chihuahua, less so. But eventually he decided I wasn't going to take his place on the lap and let me stay. So the story is that Greeta brought Ida to the new world and left her in Michigan with a Swedish family and then went back home to Finland. Years later she came back with a husband and wanted Ida back with her. Ida, a teenager by then, had no memory of her mother and didn't even speak the same language as her mother. She spoke Swedish and English but not Finnish. It was a big drama and ended up in a court case whereby she was returned to her birth mother. She never spoke of her as, or called her, "Mother"; just Greeta. Imagine that. Standing side by side but worlds apart. I decided to put them in a misty swamp separated by a bullfrog.