Album de Famille

The following photographs were not taken by me, but by members of my family: my grandfather Bi Papa, my mother, my father, perhaps others… I was not even born when most of these were shot! Every Christmas, when I go back to Belgium, I manage to put a few images in my suitcase without my mom noticing. Hee! Hee!

I love photographs from a distant past. I have been known to dumpster dive to save old photographs some idiot had thrown away and reconstitute whole family albums, families that were not mine but that became mine a little bit. This page however is about my clan, my peeps.Β  I will try to add some more as I steal them…

les-cheveux-de-mammy1My mom in the forties

mammy-avant-daller-monterMy mom dressing up to go riding

bi-et-mamourMy grand-parents at a costume party

mammy-et-cacoMy mom and uncle Caco mimicking the painting at a party

caco-marchand-de-tapis1My uncle Caco disguised as a rug seller

mammyMy hot mom!

jean-et-cacoMy uncle Caco and My uncle Jean dressed up as les Dupont Dupont from Tintin

1960-les-bullesA party in 1960 – they all look shnokered! Bad mom, baaaad!

mariage-de-nanouNanou’s wedding

les-tantes-bi-et-mamourNanou, Tita, Bi Papa and Mamour

caco-paraMy uncle Caco (on the left) coming home for a break from the paras

mamourMy grandmother Mamour (Valentine AKA Poucette)

mammy-a-la-plageMy mom at the beach

my-crazy-aunts1My aunts Tita (Valentina) and Nanou showing legs

odile-endormieMy sister asleep in my mom’s car

odile-fait-le-menageMy sister (on the right) playing housemaid. She must have used up all her cleaning skills back then!

mammy-odile-crackMy mom, my sister, and Crack being boated around

bipapa-au-japonMy granddad used to go to Japan on business quite often

mamour-a-la-plageMamour on the beach, wearing high heels

mammy-et-odileMy mom and sister in Los Angeles

vilie-et-nathalieOnly one year separated my cousin and I but she was definitely the boss of me.

les-couettes-de-vilieMy cousin Vilie, jealous of my pigtails, insisted on having the same hairdo

touni-a-la-plage1Me, buried in the sand in Ostende

nathalie-en-poupeeI had a golden childhood but I was a sad child

Now on my dad’s side, I had to wait until after his death to obtain childhood photographs. See, my father was a strange bird. He told us that basically in the United States, he had a brother called Aloysius to whom he was not speaking anymore and that everybody else was dead. After his passing, my brother put a post about my dad on a genealogical site. A year later, he got contacted by a 22 year old guy from Chicago. He was our second cousin, Ryan. I got in touch with the new family and finally discovered my dad’s past (that’s another epic, a very sad one too.) Anyway, my dad had lied on all points. His brother was not called Aloysus (duh!), and his mom had lived until 1988.

gertrude-date-unknownMy dad’s mom, circa 1914 perhaps

the-wedding-of-gertrude-and-sam1My grand parents at their wedding

dad-probably-in-19211The only baby pic of my dad, in 1921 I believe

the-uncle-i-never-knewMy uncle “Aloysus”

dad-and-his-brother-in-the-twentiesMy dad and his little brother in the twenties in Chicago

That’s all I have from my dad’s past. Not much… but so much better than nothing! It’s a shock to discover aunt, cousins, and highly entertaining second cousins after a whole life of believing everyone is dead!

8 responses to “Album de Famille

  1. Great family photos!
    I like your Uncles doing Dupont Dupont!

    You look very much like your Mother.

    Thanks! πŸ™‚ I’m not surprised you like the Dupont Dupont – I think you would have appreciated the uncles who had a very particular sense of humor. There is definitely a lot of my mom in me, but I wish I had inherited her drawing and sculpting skills. Instead I got my father’s photographic skills. I can’t really complain. πŸ™‚

  2. Really like this new feature Nathalie.
    What is so compelling about these old treasured photos!? Every time I go to visit my mother, I look through the same boxes and gaze at the same kinds of photos- grandparents on ponies, funny outfits, but I didn’t have aunts and grannies who showed their pins like yours.
    That shot of your mom with Rapunzel hair as a kid has a tinge of you in it.

    Saving these is such a good thing to do.

    Bonnie, you need to steal the photographs! And post them too! It’s a fascinating way to learn about your origins and why you are who you are today. When you dig out the stuff, there is always someone to tell you a story. I had two great aunts who were sisters, spinsters, and lived together. Every Sunday, the priest paid them a visit, and they always left some ose magazines on the table to embarrass him. Ose, at the time, probably meant there was a girl on the cover and she was showing her ankles… πŸ™‚

  3. I love that you have elected to put these up. Your Uncle Caco appears to have been quite the card.

    forkboy, I have no idea what the card is, but he was in a class of its own! And an INCREDIBLE photographer too. His wife Tita was a hottie! Caco was nuts. πŸ™‚

  4. Cynical Scribble

    Fantastic pictures you have here. I love seeing old photos.

    In my parents there is a tin photograph of my great grandmother from about 100 years ago. (I need to get that before my brothers or sisters lay claim to it!). It just amazes me everytime I see it. I can never imagine myself in their world but I’d love to step back in time to see what it was like!

  5. Hi Cynical Scribble! Sorry for the long delay in replying but I’ve been out of town. I would suggest you steal that photograph as soon as possible. Possession is nine-tenths of the law.
    You can always scan it later and email it to your scribblings. πŸ™‚

  6. Excellent photo retrospective. I loved it truly.


    Thank you! πŸ™‚

  7. julianusginting

    i like your family’s picture but where is your pic? wanna see your pic..hehehe πŸ˜›

  8. Marvelous collection, anecdotes, and great writing. I am in Dallas, too. Also, on Facebook. I lived and worked in Japan and have a Buddhist outlook on life in many ways. I am an artist and social philosopher. If you ever go on Facebook, you can look me up, if you like. Greg Marcy da Gama. I used your temple picture with some nice Zen Bushido music. Collaged, I added your wordpress blog here as a compliment to it. Take care. Best to you and thanks again, Nathalie with an h for this lovely post. ~ / ~ OM

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