Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blast from the Past!

Photographs are one of my passions!
And one of the joys of retirement 
is to finally have time to work on my photo collection.

It's a good thing I enjoy it so much,
because I literally have tens of thousands of photos.
I have over 20,000 photos on my computer alone,
not to mention thousands in albums and boxes.

But I've always loved photographs,
and I never tire of looking at them.

I spent the summer of 1968
working in the Reference Department of 
the Vaughan Memorial Library at
at Acadia University.

Vaughan Memorial Library
Not much of a picture, but I snapped it on a mad dash to the Geology Department 
in a quick visit to Acadia in 2009.  If I had known I'd be blogging, I'd have taken a better shot!

One of my main jobs was to organize 
the university's photo collection;
to identify who, what, where, when, and why
in thousands of photographs
that reached back well over a hundred years.
That was one of my all time favorite jobs.

I've been browsing through childhood memories
in recent days, and I came across a lone,
disconnected photo from a long move
from Alymer, Ontario to Margarettesville, Nova Scotia.

This was taken outside my 
Aunt Louise's and Uncle Carl's house 
in Binghamton, New York,
in April 1958.
It includes my father (Don), mother (Sara),
brother Roy, sisters Donnie and Barbie,
as well as me (Louise).

I like to play with old photographs
to see if I can improve them.

The MacBeath Family, 1958

I love the charm of the old photograph; 
but, it's nice to be able to see the faces in the enlargement.

Those four kidlets became a petroleum engineer 
and company manager, two lawyers, 
and a teacher/union leader ~
artist/journalist, pianist, 
CAT award-winning actress/singer/theatre production manager, 
and writer/photographer.
(Number five, Bertie, hadn't arrived yet; 
but, being number five, she has tried to outdo the siblings,
and she is flat out accomplished and amazing!)

You wouldn't know it to look at the picture!

I'll be posting more Blasts from the Past!
I hope you'll enjoy them! 


  1. Wonderful! In some ways these old photographs are ageless -- the expressions of shyness or mischief or parental pride are still recognisable and strike an answering chord today.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment B&R! Reading the expressions of the people in photos are half the fun. That's one reason why I like nonprofessional photographs so much - they are real! Have a good day!

    2. By the way, B&R, I was looking at some of your sketches which are wonderful. I loved the fantasy ones, being a Tolkien fan: "Ophelia," is exquisite, and those paper dolls are lovely - what a great idea to base the costumes on outfits your toddle wore. I loved paper dolls growing up and made my own.

  2. Hello Louise,
    What a sweet memory of your family, such precious pictures! I am amazed at the number of photographs in your collection! I wonder how many more we carry around in our heads, as we remember them all and more!
    Have a good week also.

    1. Hi Ivan! Thank you for your thoughtful comment! You are right; my pictures are among my most precious belongings. When you think about the human brain and how much one can hold it's amazing! May your week be happy and sunny!

  3. Very rich posts!
    I bet you must love to get back into these oldies!
    Retirement is quite exiting then for you! ;-)
    Well done Fundy!

    1. Hi Noushka! Thank you for your encouraging comment. Yes, retirement is very exciting for me! I finally have some time for all the things I want to do, Writing, photography, learning, and travel top the list, but that is just scratching the surface. I worked very hard all my life to get here, and I thank God every day that I have been able to retire. Have a fun week with your birds!

  4. I share this love. Photos are precious and I have tons of them. I particularly love the old pictures that tell so many stories. This is a great post, and I look forward to you sharing more!

    1. Thanks, Martha! You get it! It's the stories that matter. I'm driven to save the family stories: it just never occurred to me that I would do some of it in this format. I enjoy the photos you post. They are beautiful. Have a funny week!

  5. I'm with you Louise about the humble photograph. I have always been intrigued by the process and the ability to capture a moment in time....that will never be repeated.
    In my first year teaching in Nictaux just outside Middleton, Nova Scotia I had a student from Margarettesville.
    Check out those blazers you and Roy are wearing! My sister and I had ones just like it! Must have been trendy in the 50's! And I can see you look like your Mom here too.
    You've inspired me to post some old photos of family....thanks.

  6. How funny that we all had the same blazers, Jim!

    I loved Margarettesville. I finished off second grade at Greenwood while living in Margarettesville, then spent third grade there, then for fourth grade we got into PMQs at Greenwood RAFB.

    And yes, I look a lot like my mom, more than any of the sibs. When I returned to Westport, White Bay in 2011, everywhere I went I heard: "Oh yes, my dear! You looks some like your mom!"

    Oh please do post some old photos! I am fascinated by them!

  7. Lookee You with your stylin' denims with plaid cuffs, very '50's!!

    CAT....Meaning? And is this description...YOU!!!? All those exciting avenues! Details please!

    1968...I worked in the Vaughan Lib that summer too. I mentioned this before and I can't believe we didn't run into each other. Do you remember Miss Wickwire, the head of librarians? Do you remember her tone? You could hear her all over the library! Now that I recall I was only working there for a month and then I taught swimming and life guarded at the new pool the rest of the summer.

    The angle of the Vaughan Library photo threw me off. I remember a white house to the left of the building and very little, if any, trees and shrubbery. Jim, my Mom and I walked passed there all the time when she was living heading out for our evening walks. I always loved taking in the campus. Actually Acadia U had been part of my life ever since I can remember from age 5 on wards. I did so many things there...great memories of the buildings, Professors, students, cultural events and athletics. Really miss being part of that now. I think that is why I accepted my most recent job at Saint Mary's University, 15 years, because of the good experiences I had at Acadia!
    Well, Louise, you certainly have opened up the a very good way! Thanks and I champing at the bit for more!



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