A couple weeks back I posted a silent movie that was... well... pretend but this one is the real deal. A cousin posted this on his YouTube channel several weeks ago and I have watched it a dozen times since. My great-grandmother, Frances (who died before I was born) can be seen in this footage (and center in the above photo) walking down to the water in a flowing dress, as well as my late grandfather Lou (My mom's dad) who is a teenager, here, surrounded by ladies, dancing in a suit... reminding me totally of Archer. Amazing.

Also featured in the footage is "Trudel" the grandmother of a distant cousin named Leonard who has created a blog featuring the letters of his late mother, who emigrated from Germany to the United States in the mid 1930s. His website is, in his words, a tribute to her and all of those who bravely set forth for a new world as skies darkened around Europe. It's beautiful and fascinating and for those interested, it's here. (Every post coincides with the date it was written. This letter was written July 30th, 1937 and published July 30th of last week.

The moral of this story, to me at least, is to save everything that matters. Our diaries and our letters and our photographs are EVERYTHING when it comes to recognizing those who came before us.
More than anything else, I am fascinated by the stories of those who have passed and what it means to remain in this life after leaving it--how we keep the stories of past lives humming with the seance of shoeboxes... Thank you for finding this footage, Leonard. Such a treasure.