Looking through some of my photographs, I found this picture of my grandfather as a first year engineering student.

grandfather reading

He posed for the photo, but in my recollections of him, a book–and a fishing rod–are ever present.



  • Christine Kalleeny: I love the picture, Victoria. He seems so taken by a mood of thoughtfulness at that moment. It makes me nostalgic for my grandparents, who have passed. October 19, 2016 at 8:01am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s the same reason I love this photo. He looks so young. And the book looks exactly like his copy of Pushkin’s poetry that I still have, with my grandfather’s inscription. October 19, 2016 at 8:08am Reply

  • Austenfan: Is this the grandfather who fought in the war? The one who looked after you when you were little? (On your mother’s side of the family) October 19, 2016 at 8:32am Reply

    • Victoria: No, this is my mom’s side, but it’s my grandfather, her dad (the one who looked after me is my great-grandfather.)

      I need to draw a family tree to make this blog legible. 🙂 October 19, 2016 at 9:12am Reply

      • Austenfan: I remember now. The photo you once posted of your great-grandfather holding you is probably my favourite of all your family pictures. He’s looking so fondly at you in it.

        Family trees might indeed help 😉 October 19, 2016 at 9:43am Reply

  • Sarah.: The photo captures a by-gone era. I love the fact he is studying or reading in a suit! So civilized! What a treasure for you to own, Victoria! You are fortunate to count it among your possessions. October 19, 2016 at 9:31am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, the suit is a nice touch. I’m sure he posed, since he was also an avid photographer, but to his last day he cared about appearance and always looked well-put together and elegant. Even if he were lounging at home reading a newspaper. October 19, 2016 at 10:54am Reply

  • Aurora: How dapper he looks! Thank you for sharing with us Victoria, and I notice the flowers on the table, as in many photos of yours, a love of flowers must run in the family. October 19, 2016 at 9:40am Reply

    • Victoria: You’re right! All of us are flower obsessed. 🙂 October 19, 2016 at 10:53am Reply

  • Teddee Grace: I love vintage photos and this is a great one. You are so lucky to have such an evocative image of your grandfather. October 19, 2016 at 9:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you. I do too. Vintage photos capture something about the time. October 19, 2016 at 10:46am Reply

  • spe: Gorgeous! And the pen and inkwell…beautiful photo. October 19, 2016 at 10:26am Reply

    • Victoria: I gave up on inkwells, but I still have his pen. October 19, 2016 at 10:46am Reply

  • Marilyn Stanonis: Victoria – I, too, love the photograph! I love the pose, the flowers, the suit — and it reminds me of one I have of my grandfather when he was about the same age. I was tempted to send it, but we might all be sending you pictures of our grandfathers if I do that! October 19, 2016 at 10:31am Reply

    • Victoria: Please send it! I’d love to see photos of all of your grandfathers. Old photographs are my passion. October 19, 2016 at 10:45am Reply

  • Jillie: Oh my goodness – he is so handsome! And I am sure that I can see your face in his features and the artistic pose. October 19, 2016 at 11:46am Reply

    • Victoria: My aunt looks so much like him it’s uncanny. I look more like my dad’s side. October 19, 2016 at 1:29pm Reply

  • Ariadne: He looks like you! You look like him! Lovely of you to share this. October 19, 2016 at 11:48am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m happy to share! 🙂 October 19, 2016 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: What a handsome man your grandfather was! Good looks run in your family. October 19, 2016 at 11:52am Reply

    • Victoria: And he had an identical twin brother. Can you imagine what a pair they made! October 19, 2016 at 1:30pm Reply

      • Phyllis Iervello: WOW! October 19, 2016 at 2:42pm Reply

        • Victoria: Exactly identical looks, but very different personalities! October 19, 2016 at 2:48pm Reply

          • zephyr: That’s amazing, their different personalities! October 20, 2016 at 12:09am Reply

            • Victoria: Polar opposite, in fact! October 20, 2016 at 2:15am Reply

  • zephyr: A treasure of a photograph!

    We have many photos of all my grandparents, but almost none of them as children – they weren’t in the US yet. Looking at them makes me want to ask so many questions, questions I never thought to ask when I was young. October 19, 2016 at 12:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, same here. You and I talked about it in another thread, the one on the white embroidery, how when you’re at a certain age or a certain time in your life, you simply can’t formulate the same questions. Now I also think of all the things I would have liked to ask him. I can’t say that I was as close to him as to my great-grandfather, but he was still an important presence in my childhood. October 19, 2016 at 1:32pm Reply

  • Karen A: Wonderful photo! I love having old family photos and am fortunate to have a treasure trove of them, including my grandfather and his brother as soldiers in WW1. October 19, 2016 at 2:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, that’s a true treasure! October 19, 2016 at 2:49pm Reply

  • Rita: What a dapper looking man…! Love it😀 October 19, 2016 at 3:23pm Reply

  • zephyr: Speaking of photos, one of my cousins – she and I are not even a year apart and were quite close as children – was cleaning out her house and garage before downsizing to a new place. She gave me a box of very old photos. They belonged to our grandparents, who have been gone for almost thirty years. Somehow, after the deaths of her parents (my aunt and uncle), she ended up with these photos. Her older siblings don’t know who the people in the photos are. As far as I can tell, they were all taken here in the US, maybe in the 1920s. It all hit me when I opened the box: my mother is the only one left who might be able to identify the people in the photos. She is eighty years old, lives on the east coast, and can’t do much traveling anymore. I’m feeling a new urgency to get these out to her and have her take a look. There might be some gems in that box! October 20, 2016 at 12:06am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, yes! Having done my search and having experienced how fragile memories can be, I say, go on that trip as soon as you can. This box of yours is sure a treasure! October 20, 2016 at 2:16am Reply

    • Michaela: Almost the same here. My mother is the only one who can recognize people in our old pictures and remember their stories. October 20, 2016 at 6:44am Reply

  • Michaela: This photo is a treasure. Even if he is posing, flowers arranged and everything, he looks relaxed and natural. Simply beautiful. The atmosphere of old times. October 20, 2016 at 6:41am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, that’s what it evokes for me too. October 27, 2016 at 12:17pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: I’m reading A History of Reading at the moment. The photo of your grandfather would fit in perfectly! October 20, 2016 at 4:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: It would! I loved that book, by the way. October 27, 2016 at 12:17pm Reply

  • katherine x: Thanks so much for sharing Victoria. Your love and respect for your family is undeniable, beautiful and totally understandable! Gorgeous photo. And even if he is posing, it’s hard to tell. October 20, 2016 at 8:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much! October 27, 2016 at 12:17pm Reply

  • Marilyn Stanonis: Victoria, you were so kind to encourage me to send my grandfather’s picture, and I appreciate that so much. I couldn’t manage to send it; no matter how many ways I tried, it wouldn’t work for me. But I’ve enjoyed your grandfather’s picture and all the lovely comments about families. Thank you so much! Marilyn Stanonis October 22, 2016 at 4:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for trying! I’m sorry it didn’t seem to work out. October 27, 2016 at 12:18pm Reply

  • brenda: Yes, a heart-warming photograph. Have I missed the reason the scissors are there? If I have, please enlighten me….what never changes is the impact of a beautiful suit. October 23, 2016 at 8:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: Just a set? Not sure, and he’s not around to find out anymore. October 27, 2016 at 12:18pm Reply

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