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: http://mail.nysoclib.org/digital_archives/periodicals/National_Geographic/index/1890s/1890.html
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.