Beyond Precious - But only to me and mine

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Project by C_PLUS_Woodworker posted 09-04-2014 04:40 PM 2121 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Please excuse the personal nature of my comment, but this is off the scale for me and I feel like sharing. Some of you will “get it”.

My Mother left me a box….......mostly junk that I threw away. I had this little beat-up envelope in my hand and I swear it was halfway to the garbage can when I stopped to look inside it.

There were sqaure negs with oval portraits in the envelope. These pictures were taken in 1918. They are photos of my Mother’s parents. Now I have the original negatives. Almost 100 years old. The photo lab I used said they rarely see negs this old.

I recognized them immediately and began to unashamedly bawl. The “originals” were also in oval frames and were in their living room for 50+ years. What an honor to gain ownership of these photos. No one in the family knows where the original full-size framed photos are.

Both photos needed a little touching up and the photo-lab surpassed excellence.

There is about a 1/4 inch of epoxy over each photo. Got a new sexy router bit to do the key hole in the back. It is straight, it just looks crooked. A picture like this should hang flat against the wall, not leaning out on a wire. They are Wallace and Elva, my Mothers parents.

Grandpa has had more of an influence in my life than anyone I know. Won’t bore with too many details, just suffice it to say that. When I was working young horses, I would actually say in my head “Now, what would Grandpa do right now”? I know I did that a thousand times in my life about horses and treating women and “what would Grandpa have me do in this life situation,...or in business, or ANYTHING” !!

Everyone should have a humble man that grew to great status (not wealthy, but accomplished and widely respected as a great man) as a role model for them.

Walnut, SealCoat, 2 coats of Waterlox Original, 2 coats of Waterlox Satin, rubbed out with that super-fine steel wool and then 3 coats of wax. Bowl bit with bearing and 1/2 MDF template.

Sorry if I got too personal.


17 comments so far

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


489 posts in 4434 days

#1 posted 09-04-2014 04:51 PM

Great story and wonderful work. You will treasure this for a longtime.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View poopiekat's profile


4776 posts in 4540 days

#2 posted 09-04-2014 05:08 PM

Thanks, Bruce for a touching story, and for sharing the project worthy of your treasured photos!

I recently have re-discovered long-lost cousins through Facebook, and they gave me a couple of very rare photos of my paternal grandparents. I have only fleeting memories of them when I was very young, and these circa 1945 photos they gave me are treasures. You have given me the incentive to make a frame on which I can mount my favorite photo of them!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 2776 days

#3 posted 09-04-2014 05:31 PM

Bruce we all feel the love you have for them in your story and the completed project. I am excited to know that many years from now you will get to reunite with them.

I agree the lab you had do the work did a fantastic job on the pictures!!! If I were you I would get on the web page if they have one and send them a letter or review their work.

This is great and thanks for sharing!

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 5079 days

#4 posted 09-04-2014 05:37 PM


The story is what makes this project so wonderful. It isn’t often that we get to have such wonderful treasures to share and to pass on. I know, I have a wonderful water color painting that the realtor had done of my parents house when we sold it after they passed away, it is a treasure.

Thank you for sharing your project as well as the story behind it….

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 3873 days

#5 posted 09-04-2014 06:14 PM

Fabulous project. When it’s personal, it’s the best.

Love your work here, and love the story. That’s what makes it important!

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2938 days

#6 posted 09-04-2014 06:50 PM

Marvelous frame and wonderful story! I have memorial photos of both sides grandparents (circa 1900). And also cherish them very much. Was the Gentleman a cadet or soldier at the time; fine well groomed person And, the ladies hat is unusual?

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


602 posts in 3713 days

#7 posted 09-04-2014 07:47 PM

According to what source you read, WWI ended in late 1918 or early 1919.

Grandpa Wallace is in his WWI uniform stripped purposefully of all medals and insignias. Did not want to borrow glory from those that paid the ultimate price.

He was a mule skinner for an ambulance company. Before and after the war…....all his life actually, Grandpa was a renowned horseman …...with one particular team (Dick and Rock) who were the go-to team when tricky work was called for.

Can you imagine him getting up early every morning during that soggy soggy period in France and feeding his horses and mules, getting them in their traces, working them all day, rotating out the ones that tired…....God what a horseman. He was proud of the fact that every night he would scour the area looking for relatively dry ground to give his animal’s hoofs the night and a chance to dry and stay “workable”. He was proud of that. He was gassed in the trenches of the Argonne woods in France and came home just a few months prior to the end of the war. Spoke in a raspy voice all the rest of his life.

So Grandpa is in his WWI uniform….. probably the best clothes he owned. What a rock of a man.

Grandma is looking down at a baby in her lap when the photographer snapped the un-posed photo. What a wonderful revelation into Grandma’s inner self.

She is not wearing a hat, her hair is dark in the photo, so I can see how someone might think she is wearing one.

What a heritage and legacy these great people and my other aunts and uncles….......and especially my Mother and Dad passed to me.

I better not blow it !!!

View tyvekboy's profile


2030 posts in 3819 days

#8 posted 09-04-2014 08:38 PM

What a great find.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2938 days

#9 posted 09-04-2014 08:50 PM

I’m quite sure you are very proud of your heritage, as am I, and rightly so! God bless you for your kind sharing. My father was considered too blind for WWI so when the University of the South closed for the war he loaded mortar shells at the arsenal at Ft Ogelthorpe, GA.; then too old for WWII. Thanks again.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View Todd's profile


421 posts in 2482 days

#10 posted 09-04-2014 10:16 PM

Every project has a story Bruce. Yours gave me chills. Your Grandpa was a hero, your Grandma was beautiful. I have an intense interest in the world wars and I consider everyone who played a role in them a hero. Thanks for sharing!

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View hoss12992's profile


4172 posts in 2699 days

#11 posted 09-04-2014 10:58 PM

Love the history. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Mean_Dean's profile


7048 posts in 3953 days

#12 posted 09-05-2014 12:11 AM

Wonderful story about your grandparents. And a beautiful frame you made for their photos!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View CFrye's profile


11022 posts in 2645 days

#13 posted 09-05-2014 04:03 AM

You have honored them with this frame and photo restoration, and us with the sharing. Thank you.

-- God bless, Candy

View grace123's profile


258 posts in 3568 days

#14 posted 09-05-2014 04:55 AM

Outstanding. I truly understand your feelings. Right this very day I scanned and uploaded 24 old photos of my grandparents, aunts and uncles to a website called FamilyTree. The photos are connected to a family history pedigree chart. I hope others of my family will see the photos and enjoy them as well. Sometimes our deceased families feel very close and we remember again how we loved them and how much we honor their memories. Your project is superb.

View KevinH's profile


111 posts in 4613 days

#15 posted 09-05-2014 01:24 PM

These photos and your personal stories bring this beautiful project to life. Thank you for sharing all of it. By the way, I also love that you embedded a penny in the back of the frame to remind you of when you made it.

Grace and peace.

-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

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