An anniversary, a birthday party, and a slide show


Summer, 2014


My Grandparents are amazing.  All of them – and I’m lucky enough to have four sets.

For the time being though, I’m going to focus on my Biologically Maternal Grandparents – My mom’s Mom and Dad.  They turned 90 this year, and have been marries for 65 years.  So what do you do for your 90th birthday, that also happens to be very near your 65th wedding anniversary?

You party it up.  Obviously.

So, everyone came over to the apartment in Brookhaven on two days, where we had dinners and got to sit down and hear stories from the past.  But we didn’t just hear stories – My mom and I put together a little pair of presents for my Grandma and Grandpa as a sort of tribute to the past.

My Grandpa was a prolific photographer.  Everyone dreaded the sound of his tripod being set up, and the inevitable call to assembly for a group photo, rigorously curated and tweaked until it was perfectly in line with his exacting standards.

But it turns out, those pictures are a great window to the past, and since they had all been saved as slides in my Mom’s attic, we could look through those windows… if only the slides could be sorted and organized into a complete show.  And that… that is exactly what my mom did.

She was able to work through over 2,000 slides, and put together an amazing collage of pictures from my Grandparents early years, all the way through to the near-present day.  Everything from family vacations, to work parties with my Grandpa’s company, to the houses they lived in and my Aunt’s first days in college.

But it didn’t go up to current, of course… since my Grandpa hasn’t been taking pictures as prolifically as before.  Thankfully, other people have, which is where I came in.  I was able to find a good electronic photo frame, and loaded it up with pictures of all of us – pulling from facebook, blogs, family shots, and everything in between.

The best part though, was the reveal for everything.  My Grandma and Grandpa had been kept in the dark the whole time… I have no idea how my family was able to keep a secret at all, much less for this long, but it worked somehow.  When she walked into the room the look on her face was perfect.  Complete surprise, then a bit of shock, then a bit of confusion about the projector set up.

But as the slides started going, there was nothing but love and pride in her and my Grandpa’s eyes.  And that was the best response that any of us could have asked for.


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