Granddad is back and here to stay

What would you do if your sibling told you this? :

Your brother threw out a 1925 issue of National Geographic  that has your Granddad’s photo in it.

That is nasty and I will spare you many other horror stories. But, can you imagine? He simply trashed it (as well as old papers), all like  vulgar pieces of rubbish. To say that  I was pissed off was a big understatement…

It was now time to try to redeem some of our family’s pride: Operation NG was on!

I had to find replacement copies through the internet. But, it was really like finding a needle in a haystack! What year and what volume number? Because, I didn’t remember the date of that copy. But, I clearly remember the image of a man throwing food to birds. I estimated the  photo to be in one of the 1920’s editions. My Granddad was in the US Navy and his ship escorted a scientific expedition to discover birds.

But, those who know me know how stubborn I can be. Hardheaded, Irish stubborn, that is…

I did my homework. After attempts to contact sellers and ask questions, my ultimate salvation came from a digitalized NG index that has all the NG issues from 1888 up to 1999. Here it is, starting at the earliest copies.

Use the arrow to go further up in years:

A real goldmine for photography ! Flip through it and enjoy the trip back in time. I will return to enjoy more of their fabulous vintage photographs. I took the 1920’s years and combed once more the titles But, this time with the copies at my finger tips to consult.. I did not look at each and every article. Imagine; 1920- 1929 12 months x  10 years = 120 copies to go through!!

I did a keyword search and flipped through whole articles whenever the topics were like my research. Then, I saw something early one morning.

The words were ringing a bell, here were words like : “bird”, “USS Tanager”(my Granddad’s ship at one time) or ” Honolulu”, which was where Granddad was based at one time…

Then I saw him:

I had that feeling… this is it. There he was with the birdies..

Date: July 1925

I found a  copy on “EBY” and had it sent to my cousin Bill as a gift. He confirmed yesterday that it is indeed Granddad. He recalls fondly as a child pouring over that issue many a time when he stayed at our grandparent’s house. I know how wonderful it must be for Bill to relive those fond childhood memories.

That is how I found my Grandad’s photo. I am thrilled and will order another NG copy for moi. after the trip to Hawaii.

Have a wonderful day and I hope to see you soon.


14 thoughts on “Granddad is back and here to stay

  1. “That is nasty and I will spare you many other horror stories. But, can you imagine? He simply trashed it (as well as old papers), all like vulgar pieces of rubbish. To say that I was pissed off was a big understatement…”

    I don’t blame you in the least for being pissed off, Barb, because I would have pissed off too. In fact, I have a sister that has done similar things with our family photos/memorabilia 😦

    But I am soooooooooooooooo proud of your Irish stubbornness, because if you hadn’t been stubborn you would have never found the photo!

    And what a faaaaaaaaaabulous photo it is. I actually got a bit teary-eyed reading about your research and then seeing the photo. It’s so BEAUTIFUL!

    “I found a copy on “EBY” and had it sent to my cousin Bill as a gift. He confirmed yesterday that it is indeed Granddad. He recalls fondly as a child pouring over that issue many a time when he stayed at our grandparent’s house. I know how wonderful it must be for Bill to relive those fond childhood memories.”

    ((((( Barb ))))))

    And how wonderful of you to do that!

    Thanks so much for sharing this moment, my friend. I really enjoyed reading this post!

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    1. Hi Ronnie,
      Thank you, dear ((( Ron))). Believe me; I had been brewing. As angry and horrified as I had been, I wanted to go above and beyond.So, I had been secretly reseraching, hoping to find the photo.
      Oh yes, the stuborness gene 🙂 Irish have it. My Mom used to call me “hardhead”. Thank you, Irish genes!!
      What I did for Bill is only normal. He asked about the copy of NG at Mom’s. I know that it was hard learning about it, because our grandmother’s handwriting was on that copy. But, this mag will also be a heirloom.
      I am glad that you enjoyed this post. My pleasure.

  2. That’s an amazing picture! I’m glad you were able to source it again, and yes, it pays to be stubborn 🙂

    Families deal with memories in different ways. I’m not excusing what he did but some people just don’t want to remember… or don’t care other others’ feelings.

    1. Hi Zhu,
      i am very proud to have this again in my life. I knew it as a child and my cousin did, too. Now, we are both linking to our Grandfather.
      I understand what you are saying and I am not upset with you saying that. Yes, some people don’t want these memories or don’t care of their relative’s feelings. I say that if an object is old, ask if anyone in the family wants it. That was not done… If no one wants it, donate it or sell it.

      Have a nice day and thanks for stpping by.

    1. Hi Anne!
      It is so nice to see you! How is life?
      This was an amazing adventure and I am proud to have gotten through. What a model my grandad makes; our “birdman”!
      Take care and wishing you positive days.

    1. Hi Bijoux,
      How are ya doing?
      Thanks! I know too that being stubborn pays off. I’ve been a memeber of that club a long time!
      Happy Memeorial day weekend to you and yours.

  3. Happy Memorial Day.

    And what a tribute to a soldier that you’d persevere so well.

    Gotta tell ya, himself had a bit of a meltdown when his mum told him she’d tossed out a load of photo albums…… They were photos of his father and his mother–things she decided no one would really want. Hurt his feelings immensely and he tried not to be angry–but he got there, and then the sadness hit.

    He won’t get a chance to see of retrieve those photos again.
    Unlike the photos lost of my family and my childhood– to a housefire. There was ‘no decision’ made–things ‘happened’ and they were lost forever. The choice made which was exclusive of him, stings and he’s still hurt over it.

    I can understand the mum’s decision–she was moving, the photos hadn’t been looked at forever…..and that’s as far as her thinking went. But boy I understand the anger on his part, too.
    Just as I can for you as well.

    You have my sympathies—-that’s a tough one….but I think the solution to focus on what you COULD get back, was a good one.
    Oh…..and I appreciate the link–cuz NOW I’m gonna go peeking at back issues cuz they have some of THE most amazing photos……..

  4. Hi Mel,
    Thank you for your kind words. Me thinks that Grandad is probably smiling up there in heaven…
    OMG… your hubby’s situation is tough. I know, family members all have their decisions to take and we don’t always agree with them. I am so sorry for Himself. When one lives far away from the original family nest, it is also very hard to find oneself “on the sidelines” when decisions are made or just for news.
    That is so sad for your big loss of your past memories through a house fire.
    I wonder if Himself could get a few copies of these missing pics from relative’s albums? Same for you too, Mel.. It sometimes happens that family gave pics to their closest kin. Trying to contacts cousins to see if they have any old albums is an idea.

    I could choose to stay in anger or do something POSITIVE. I chose the second option and was rewarded with a bit of success with the digital NG index. I love it and am hope that you will enjoy it, too!
    Bye for now! X

  5. Hi Barbara,

    Well – what an achievement finding that photo – it was certainly worth the trouble and time as it’s clear why it was publishhed in the first place. It’s a magnificent shot of those frigate birds in flight and a wonderful capture of the relationship between man and the wild. You must be very proud a) of your grandad for making this connection with those birds and b) of yourself and your dogged determination to find the picture. Now comes the really hard bit, if you’ve not already done it – forgiving your brother for trashing those magazines. Like you, I would have boiled and fumed and been very upset, because what is a treasure to one person can be a pile of rubbish to another. I know I stand on the side of valuable historic family archives because they connect us to our past so strongly. It’s good to hear your positive bloody-mindedness helped you move on – and look what you found en route – all those other photos! Go gently and move on…..

    Joyce x

    1. Hello Joyce,
      Thank you! I was truly “stoked” to find it! It was worth the time and effort- YES! It is a tremendous photo, well composed and to our Grandad’s honor. I will admit to having “good pride”(not a swelled head, of course) on both counts. My cousin Kathy recently made a very funny anecdote. She said that years later, the man who once fed birds would try and shoo they away by putting all sorts of aluminium pie plates and other objects to scare the birds from eating the figs in their fig tree!!
      OMG… Pardon. That is indeed a hard word. I have to come to a point where I have to say it and then one day, believe it. It doesn’t help that my brother never communicates with me.

      Pass on and try to stay positve, sayeth I…


  6. Hi Barbara, what a story. I’m so glad that you managed to find the magazine with the photo! Good for you, we Irish girls don’t give up!

    1. Hey there Jennifer,
      This is a real story. I think that was one of my happier days in 2012 when I finally found it!!
      Oh yes; stubborn and hard headed are Irish girls!
      I can attest to that 🙂
      Hugs x

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