My husband’s great Uncle Frank Pellicane was the youngest of all the first generation Pellicane siblings, and as a result was actively involved in the lives of his nephews and their children (much to our good fortune). He and his wife Lorraine did not have children of their own, so this gave them the freedom to travel and take pictures. His medium of choice was slides. My husband recalls it being a treat to be invited to view the show of their most recent travels.
In my early days as a genealogist I decided to try my hand at my husband’s paternal line. It would be a great experiment, as they were Italian and my knowledge of the language was limited to what appeared on menus. I discussed it a bit with Uncle Frank and he was only too happy to provide me with an abundance of material. It felt a bit like cheating as I was merely verifying items he told me for much of the project. Uncle Frank knew the family originated from the town of Santa Ninfa in Sicily, making my job locating the family in the “stato civile” much easier. I guess because of this interest, he decided to give me part of his slide collection, items he must have thought that would be of interest to my husband and his siblings. The slides came to me in a rumpled paper bag from a bagel shop in New Brunswick, and there they sat. I kept them in a safe place, but I really not sure of what to do with them. I had previously taken slides of my grandparent’s wedding to a camera shop and the resulting pictures were costly and to be honest, not the greatest quality. In November I attended a lecture on preserving photographs and was inspired to do something for the slides and my guilty conscience.
On my Christmas list was an item to convert slides to pictures. I am now the proud owner of a Wolverine 35mm Film to Digital Converter. It’s very basic, but it seems to be doing a decent job. I have completed retrieving them, and now I am in the process of lightening the images with Photoshop Elements. Once done, I will be sharing them with the rest of the family. It’s been a treat to look back in time to my husband’s childhood (and some earlier). I can’t wait to share them with my in-laws, maybe they can identify some of the folks in the pictures.
So if you have old slides, I really recommend getting the pictures where everyone can see them. You will be surprised how young everyone looks, or that your husband had a fondness of plaid leisure suits as a child (I can tell he really thought he was the cat’s meow). In our case there are some faces my husband can’t place so it will be a good catalyst for a conversation with his parents as well.