I’ve been thinking of my grandparents a lot the past few weeks. My dad’s dad, who died in 2012, and my mom’s mom, who died last winter, are the grandparents I have the most memories of, and they’ve been popping up in my life in various ways since we started the move. I had very different relationships with each of them. Thoughts of my grandpa have been really comforting during this crazy time. My mom and her siblings are working on selling my grandma’s house right now, and that paired with conversations and visits with her side of my family are keeping her on my mind.
I hadn’t used my film cameras in years, and I decided to bring my 35mm and my twin lens with me on my trip to Pittsburgh and Western New York in April. I shot a roll of black and white on each, of my parents’ PA townhome, my grandma’s house in the process of emptying it, the cemeteries where my family members are buried, and places around Depew–my sweet grandparents’ home for much of my life, the house where my dad lived as a little boy (the same house that was my parents’ first home when they were newlyweds), my grandpa’s grandma’s house that he used to drive by with me while telling me stories of visiting her there when he was a kid.
There’s a spooky effect in a few of the images that I’m sure can be explained by the light, but in one instance in particular, the picture of my mom by the lamp in the living room… I got this feeling in my gut when I first saw it. It wasn’t a long exposure; nothing funny was going on at the time. I haven’t been able to look at it since without getting a strange feeling.