Intro - or - Come Along for the Ride
On April 19th, 2015 my wife and I went to a large antique show/flea market at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds in St. Paul. I usually look for old typewriters (I collect them), while Melissa is more of the not-sure-what-I-want-but-I'll-know-it-when-I-find-it kinda people. So we were wandering around, and at one booth I came across a couple of old scrapbooks/photo albums.
Normally, if you find an old photo album at an antique dealer, the pictures have often been removed, and it's just the album itself for sale. But at this particular booth, they were full of family pictures and other items. These at first caught my attention because according to family lore, my relatives (way back) used to have a cool old photo album full of old family pictures, but this got sold to an antique dealer long ago. So when I see an album like this, I always have to look. Just in case.
I know, I know. Fat chance.
And no, I didn't find it.
But what I did find...
Okay, first another detour in the narrative.
In the first half of the 1990s, before I met my wife and had kids, I worked in Yellowstone National Park for four summers and one winter. (It's a seasonal job). For many who work in Yellowstone, it's bound to stick in your soul for the rest of your life, and I'm no exception to that. I always like to go back whenever I can afford it (which isn't as often as I'd like) and if I come across something related to Yellowstone - whether at an antique show/flea market or not - it gets my attention.
So in that stack of photo albums and scrapbooks, I saw this:
The cover and binding is made of wood with leather string holding the 40-or-so pages inside. In fact, the pages are a little too thick for the wooden binding:
I found the cover and binding quite beautiful, and would have bought it just for that, but when I opened it up, I saw the yellowed pages bulging with vintage postcards, brochures, maps and drawings from a family trip taken in 1937. There was even a marked map inside to show their route:
So of course I bought it!
The family lived in St. Paul, MN, and that is their start and end point. Searching through the scrapbook, I discovered who the family was, many of the places they stayed - even the kind of car they drove.
If you're interested, follow along as I recreate their journey on this blog, using their old scrapbook as a guide!
On to part 2
* * * * *