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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    « Treasure Hunt Challenge Round-Up: Just Look What We Found in Our Cupboards & Closets & Boxes! | Main | Tagged by The Chart Chick »

    Treasure Found! A Clue to Military Service in Vacation Photographs


    "Boys and Wives Reunion"

    The Magic Cupboard hasn't lost it's sparkle, and once again revealed a wonderful surprise for the Treasure Hunt Challenge. Usually I find treasures from my maternal grandmother, Arline Kinsel, but this cupboard held memories from my father's side of the family. First, I came across a vacation photo album from my paternal grandparents. My school-teacher grandmother was meticulous in all things, and her photos are carefully labeled with subject, date, and place along the white border of the snapshot. It's a good reminder of an easy way to identify photos, and probably a reason to return to the old-fashioned border prints instead of the more common borderless style.


    At the back of The Magic Cupboard I found a companion treasure -- a little six-ring notebook with my grandmother's Bible Study notes and a packet of loose pages from another memo book. Those loose pages were a travel tournal for trips in 1962 and 1964, corresponding to the dates and photos in the album. Now, that's a Treasure.

    On June 8, 1964 she writes
    Left home 5:00 -- sprinkles -- fog. Victorvile at 7:00 for breakfast. Lunch under trees before Kingman at high noon. Williams 3:45. Arrived in Canyon by 4:00. Mix up in reservation. 45' tie up. Have a nice cabin. Had chicken etc. in room. Out for walk. Wind about us off path so headed for warm cabin. 551 miles.

    She also kept an expense log at the back of the packet of notes, and itemized her expenses for that first day

    Mon 6/8/64
    Breakfast Victorville $1.46
    Tip .15
    Gas- Barstow 3.91
    Gas - Needles 3.70
    Gas - Williams 4.93
    Grand Canyon 10.30
    Cards .10
    Fountain drinks .46

    From the Grand Canyon, Walter and Edna traveled through Durango, Colorado to a reunion in Eagle, Nebraska.


    As I looked at the photographs, initially I thought the men and women, "Boys and Wives," were gathered for a family reunion; fortunately, the notes identify the photo of men and women in the photo with the 314 Supply Train, Co. E, 89 Div. This must be my grandfather's WWI Army unit. Tucked behind one photo of men taken in 1964, I found a second photo of the same group taken in 1963. What unexpected clues to my grandfather's military service.


    "314 Supply Train, Co. E, 89 Div, Reunion"

    The return trip brought them through Torrington, Wyoming and Grand Junction, Colorado before arriving home in Santa Ana, California on June 25.


    Edna noted that they drove 3,950 miles spending $244.32.

    The website, Flashback 1964! highlights the tunes, the tv shows, and the trends of the year. What fun to think that as my grandparents were cruising west in their Plymouth four-door sedan they might have been listening to the Supremes croon "Baby Love" or The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night," although they were much more likely to be listening to the news or the Billy Graham radio hour. Gas was 25 cents a gallon and they could fill the tank of the Plymouth for $4.93. This year, I paid nearly $5.00 for ONE GALLON of gas. Of course, in 1964 the average yearly salary in the United States was $6,080 but those do seem like "the good old days."

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    Reader Comments (2)

    Boy you found some real gems! Funny thing though, I can remember saying "I will NEVER pay over $1.00 for a gallon of gas!! Guess what? I was wrong! I make no more rash statements since I'll probably live to regret them!!

    Nice blog!

    October 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstienstradl

    Great post, Denise. Interesting to consider how much the price of things has gone up in the last 40 years. It makes you wonder, how much is stuff gonna cost 40 years from now? OWIE!!

    October 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterT.K.

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