The First Session – 4/8/10

Once the stars were in their proper places in February, Betty Lou and I set out to begin scanning the hundreds of photos from which we would choose.  We decided the scanning needed to be done here.  Neither of us could face the responsibility of taking peoples’ precious life images and send them to the publisher not having them returned for two years or more.  So, I bought a handy-dandy portable scanner we could take into peoples’ homes, scan the photos and never remove them from their possession.  For those of you who are equipment geeks, it’s a CanoScan LIDE100.  Only$60 and it turns faded, tiny, hundred year old pictures into the 30 MB images the publisher wants.

It took a while and some very helpful communications from the folks at Canon for me to scan to their satisfaction.  At last, we were ready and decided to practice on Betty Lou’s extensive collection.  In case I messed up, it would be easy to go back to her photos.

Betty Lou’s hundreds of photos and postcards are well organized and collected in scrapbooks and files.  She’s been at this for decades and learned one of the cardinal rules of collecting photos — write the names of the people, the location and date on the back of the photo.  You may remember who they are but guaranteed, most of our photos will outlive us.

We set up in Betty Lou’s comfortable kitchen and I began to get the rhythm.  I scanned and Betty Lou chatted about what was in the photos.  I scanned more than 40 photos that day.  Among them were a stagecoach that brought passengers from the railroad stop into the hotels in town in the 1870s, a mini golf course in the 1920s on the main corner that was the extensive Van Rensselaer estate and is now a 24-hour Sheetz, and a portrait of Rosa Suit for whom Berkeley Castle was built.

One of our favorites was this one of McCaffrey’s goat.  I loved one of the town police standing proudly over a huge pile of rat corpses in the street sometime in the 1950s.  I thought it might make a great cover.  Betty Lou wanted it nowhere in the book.  We’ll see how it turns out but one thing is for sure — I’ll use it somewhere.

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