Thursday, October 25, 2012

Monroe Raynor: a comparison

I am most familiar with my great-grandfather, Monroe Raynor, from my grandparents' wedding photos. That was in 1946 - Monroe was 65. Just this week my father e-mailed me a tintype he found in the Freeport Memorial Library's digital collection of Monroe with his family as a child. He is no more than 9 years old, but probably closer to 7 or 8 (circa 1888-89). Monroe, by the way, lived his whole life in Freeport, Long Island, New York, although I can't be sure where the photo of him as a child was taken. Anyhow, I couldn't help but notice that across the years, across more than 50 years, Monroe has the same face - I had only seen him as an adult in his 60s and 70s, but I recognized him in the face of that 8 year old immediately. It was amazing, and so very cool. I'm probably not the only one who does this, but it's very difficult for me to picture people I knew as adults (such as my grandparents and great-grandparents) or even people I never knew but who I just think of as my ancestors, and therefore as my elders, as children. But we all start there - we were all children before we were adults, before we were parents, before we were grandparents. So it's always quite a find to actually be able to *see* our "elders" as children. Especially when that child's face shows that they were the same person all along, whether they be 7 years old or 70.

Just one additional note: Did nobody ever tell this boy/man to smile when his picture was being taken???? :) 

Monroe Raynor, 1946
Monroe Raynor, circa 1889

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