Family Photo Memories

box-of-family-photos-800pxSunday evening my sister Barbara stopped by and dropped off our family photos- our souvenirs of family memories stretching back from around 1919.

My two oldest sisters, Barbara and Judy, had organized them according to the various family members, with a plastic box for each of us, and also some big envelopes of larger photos. Now I planned on scanning a bunch of them into the computer so our whole family (and it’s a big family) can enjoy them.

Tania and I spent the night looking through my box (and a large envelope of all my school pictures) and then through my dad’s boxes (he has three) until our eyeballs were about ready to fall out from seeing too much.

I think I got a bigger view of how my family fits together from this photographic journey, including various aunts, uncles and cousins whom I have never met – branches of my family who now have, at least, a picture-like existence in my mind.

On Monday I posted a few of the family photos on my Facebook page, which I’m re-posting here to save for my own future reference, for my families benefit (not everyone is on Facebook), and for you to enjoy.

[Note: All Facebook posts are in bold lettering]

My First Mugshot

First-Mugshot-Jon-1964

Posted January 28, 2013 – 10:50 AM

Here’s my first mugshot, I’m just a few hours old at this point… June 1964.

(One of my sisters dropped off the mother-lode of family photos last night… I had never seen some of the photos we looked through, including this one.)

My longtime friend Michael Whyte commented on this posting: “Jon, you look like a thug in this picture…”

To which I replied: “Mike – It had been a rough couple of hours. First I got evicted from the only home I had known, forced out into this world, then some doctor slapped me around until I cried, and then they stuck me in a room with a bunch of screaming, crying babies – I had no idea what was going on, so I thought it best I wear my “tough look” so no one else would mess with me…”

Family Photos

Family-9-25-1965

Posted January 28, 2013 – 1:50 PM

I’m having a memory-filled day, thanks to my sister Barbara dropping off the family photos last night. I just read an autobiographical piece of writing by my dad that reminded me of many things I had forgotten about my family’s history.

Here’s a photo of our family from September of 1965: (From left to right) My mom, sister Judy, me sitting on my dad’s lap, my oldest brother Steve (who died in 1973), my brother David, and my oldest sister Barbara.

(Not shown in this photo is my youngest sister, Adrienne, who wasn’t born until 1972, and without whom our family would not have been complete.)

You may notice that in the photo I have a nice bump of my forehead, which was from a mishap just before the photographer showed up at our house to take the family photo. I did this on a regular basis as a young child I’ve been told – injuring my face just before family photo time.

Mom-Dad-Steve-Barbara-1956

Posted January 28, 2013 – 4:00 PM

I love this photo of my mom and dad when they’re just beginner parents – it was taken in May of 1956 by Telecolor in Hollywood. That’s my oldest bother Steve and my oldest sister Barbara with them in the photo…

Here’s a bit from my dad’s autobiographical writings about Steve:

In the summer of 1969 our oldest son, Stephen, graduated from Simi High School, and in the fall our youngest son, Jon, started in kindergarten.

Barbara graduated from high school in summer of 1970, and she married Danny McKay at the Missionary Alliance Church during October 17, 1970. She finished beauty school that she had started during her senior year in high school and received her cosmetology license during December, 1970.

In September of 1970, Stephen married Linda Barton, and he joined the Air Force in May 1971 just before he was to be drafted. After he finished his basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, he was stationed at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino. He and his wife, Linda, got a two bedroom apartment in the Highland section of San Bernardino and they ask me stay with them in other bedroom of the apartment during the week when I was working at Campus Crusade. Steve and I together watched the L.A. Lakers basketball on the television (the Lakers won the national championship in 1972).

Toward end of the spring Stephen complained of back pains and when he had a medical examination at March Air Force Base Hospital in Riverside they found that he had cancer of the spine and that it was inoperable. When Stephen was a baby he was given radiation treatments for swelling on his face and skin growths on his lower back. The swelling decreased and eventually disappeared. But apparently some damaged had been done by the radiation treatments that doctors were unable at the time to detected. By the end of the summer he was paralyzed from the waist down.

The Air Force gave him a medical discharge and he was placed in the Veterans Hospital in Long Beach. On Monday afternoon, January 15, 1973, Stephen died of pneumonia at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital. The funeral service was held in Simi, and Stephen was buried at the Veterans Cemetery in Westwood.

I remember Jon, Stephen’s younger brother, saying after the funeral that “He had gone to a better place.”

Thinking About My Mom And Dad…

Mom-Dad-Blanche-Jan-1951

Posted January 28, 2013 – 5:10 PM

Before I was around, and before any of my brothers and sisters came along, my parents were a couple of really smart young people in love with each others mind…

I really like this photo of them walking together through the snow back in January 1951 – It makes me think of how I saw them so often while growing up; huddled together in their conversation and the ideas it contained, walking together through life (and sometimes oblivious to others around them, like my Aunt Blanche who is following them in this photo).

They were married for almost 51 years when my mom passed away back in 2002, and if she were still alive they’d still be married 🙂

I also included their high school photos so you can see what a nice looking couple of young people they were… (see below)

Mom-July-1945

Edith Ellen (before she was mom) – High School Photo

Dad-High-School-Photo

Ray Shelton (before he was dad) – High School Photo

And Posted Later In The Evening…

Jon-Sept-1979-10th-Grade

Posted January 28, 2013 – 9:30 PM

1979 – I was in 10th grade and going to a private school called Newport Christian High School – they had a rather strict dress code, including “no hair over your shirt collar” and this was one of my ways to rebel against “the system” – the old teenage long hair rebellion.

I never got in trouble for it so I don’t know if that was a successful rebellion or maybe I just slipped through the holes in the system.

Maybe it was because it was 1979 and the hippie rebellion was over and the long hair battles were becoming a thing of the past. After all, now there were a couple of punk rockers with safety pin earrings going to Newport Christian High School – a much bigger threat than a nice kid with long hair…

Half way through the school year I got very upset after a special chapel service concerning “the evils of punk rock music.” By this time I was listening to The Clash, The Ramones, DEVO and the Talking Heads – you know, punk rock music.

I told my mom (who taught Biblical Greek at our high school) about it that night, about how wrong it sounded to me. The next day when I came home from school my mom told me she had enrolled me in the local public high school.

My mom was that cool sometimes.

Extras – A Few More Photos, Not Posted First On Facebook…

Family-1964b

Above: Me and my siblings in September 1964 (from left to right):

My oldest sister Barbara (almost age twelve) is holding me (I’m only three months old here), next to me is my brother David (age two and a half) and behind him is our sister Judy (seven and a half years old), and on right side of the photo is our oldest brother Steve (almost thirteen).

You might notice that I’m throwing down a Vulcan salute in this photo (and this is three years before the Star Trek series started on television) – Live Long And Prosper.

Mom-Great-Grandma-Charlie-April-1947

Above: This is a photo I had never seen before – From left to right is my mom’s brother, Charlie, along with my great-grandmother, and my mom (when she was 19 years old) in April of 1947.

This is the only photo of my great-grandmother I’ve ever seen.

Mom-Charlie-Jim-1946

Above: This is a photo of my mom with her brother Charlie and her youngest brother Jim in 1946, right after the end of World War II.

My Uncle Jim ended up being a bachelor and lived in Southern California, relatively near to us, while I was growing up. Of all my aunts and uncles he was the only one I got to know. He introduced me to hockey, taking me and my brother David to our first hockey game (and to many other games later) in 1974 – the LA Kings vs the Minnesota North Stars.

Those thoughts – of Uncle Jim and hockey – would lead me on to a whole other set of memories, so we’ll just say that’s all for now… more photos and memories later.

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