Tuesday, November 17, 2009

.17::30.lee hall

Lee Hall. That was his name. He poses here with two sisters whose names I do not know. They were three out of eleven children, born and raised here in middle Tennessee. Lee was my Great Grandfather. He died of a massive stroke in the early 30s, in the midst of the Great Depression. That is all I know of him.

When I sifted through some of the old photos that my Grandmother had collected in an old Hawaiian Hosts chocolate box, it was this one that really stood out for me. Perhaps it was because it was the only photo that was mounted onto a mat. Maybe it was also because it was only one of very, very few photos I have ever seen of my Grandmother's side of the family. As I pointed my camera to capture the image above, I noticed something. Their faces. The eyes of these two sisters seemed dull compared to his. Even now, as I write this, I realize that there is so much more that wants to be said from this photo. So much more that I want to know. What was he like? Was he a quiet man? Did he like to tell stories? I can almost hear a man speak with that ol' southern drawl. Was he a loving man? Did he like to dance? There are so many questions that I want to ask. My Grandmother was only five when he passed away. I wonder, if she were still here, what she would have told me about what she remembered of her father.

Time is priceless. Life is so fragile and, so precious. I realize tonight that in order for me to have any of my questions answered, I need to make a point, make the time to visit the only family members still alive who may be able to know. When I spoke to my Grandfather last night, he informed me that my Grandmother's closest cousin, who is in her 90s, is suffering from dementia in a nursing home. This is a woman who had so much spunk that when she was pulled over by the State Trooper for driving too slow on the interstate, she told him to shove off! Another relative, also close to my Grandmother, recently suffered from a series of minor strokes, but fortunately she is recuperating and, is going through rehab. Thank goodness. It's been too long since I've seen either of them. It's time that I change that.

The key to unlocking the doors to the past may simply be a conversation with a wonderfully aged soul still living in the present. Life is so fragile and, precious. Time is so priceless.

1 comment:

  1. that is some spunk. :)

    i love finding pieces of family history such as this. what a treasure.


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