Here we are in 2015, and I hope the year is starting out well for all of us! The holidays are over and things have calmed down. Right? Nope. Still busy, busy, busy. So, with your indulgence, I’m reposting an older blog that I think/hope you’ll enjoy.
What’s one of the best things that can happen to a mystery writer? Well, to come up with your own personal mystery, of course.
Thanks to some book trailers I made some time ago, I needed to find photos from the 1940s. Not an issue because I have a huge old trunk my grandmother gave me, and it’s chock full of old photos ranging from the 1800s through the 1970s. This trunk has three layers and enough photos to last a lifetime. You can find a photograph to suit just about any occasion. The trunk also includes vintage greeting cards dating back to the early 1900s and plenty of vintage postcards.
In addition to family photos I’ve found pictures of a train wreck, vacation photos, and to my horror, a photo of a firing squad shooting people. (How would you like to find that stuck in the middle of your family photos?) Since the officers are on horseback, it’s a pretty old photo. There are even “posed” photos of a fight and a marriage proposal. Anyway, I even have an entire album of pictures from my grandfather’s service in the Navy from 1904-1907. Fascinating photos from around the world. He served on the Elcano and he was part of the Yangtze River Patrol. By the way, Grandpa was quite a bit older than Grandma, so draw your own conclusions as to my age. (Good luck with that.)
This trunk is so full that every time I go through it I find things I’ve missed before. I found a small diary, and a pad of paper on which my grandmother tried her hand at writing poetry. I’m very family-oriented so these things are important to me.
By this time you’re probably wondering what the big mystery is, right? I was looking for candid photos from the 1940s to use in book trailers, remember? I found some group family photos, but that’s not what I was looking for. Eventually l found an old family album resting in the bottom of the trunk. It was full of old greeting cards from the forties and I knew I’d found what I was looking for. Eureka! Oh, really? The cards were followed by page after page of those little black tabs people used to use to hold down the corners of photos – and that was it. There were lots of tabs, but no photos. They’d all been removed.
Picture me looking perplexed.
Now, I come from a family of photographing fools. They took pictures of everything they could aim a camera at, including a buggy being pulled by an ostrich and my great-aunt trying to look sexy in a woolen bathing suit (1915 or so). This is an aunt I mentioned in an earlier post whom I saw drinking out of a perfume bottle on Thanksgiving one year. Yes, she had a bit of a drinking problem and hid her, um, liquor in the bottle.
Okay, I had group shots from the forties and pictures of my siblings and me, but that wasn’t what I needed. So what happened to the 1940s? Why are all the other photos gone? Most of the people who could answer that question are gone. Those who are left don’t have an answer. A whole era is missing. How can you lose ten years of photos?
Maybe I’ll never know the answer to this little mystery. Or maybe I’ll find something informative in the trunk the next time I go through it, although I have overwhelming doubts. Or maybe I’ve just stumbled on an idea for a new mystery. Ideas come from the darnedest places.
You’d think a mystery writer could figure this one out, wouldn’t you? Not necessarily.
Until next time, I wish you a New Year of good health, prosperity, and… Well, maybe a little mystery of your own to solve. They can be so much fun.
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website
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CLICK HERE to see some of the book trailers on my website. Scroll down The Books page.