Monday, April 9, 2012

Hanging Uncle Guido

Since neither my mother nor my sister really likes antiques, I ended up with most of our family heirlooms, including a gallery of Victorian-era photos in their original frames. When Tom and I moved to Arizona most of the antiques ended up in our bedroom, so I hung the photos there, too.

About a year later we were browsing through a "stuff" store in Glendale when Tom spotted a photo in a frame almost identical to the one surrounding my great-grandparents. (Here's a picture of the frame and its original contents; the owners of the shop had labeled him "Uncle Guido.") Tom immediately bought the picture for the frame, intending to blow up his parents' wedding picture and add it to our rogue's gallery. However, he died before finding someone to do the work, and his parents' photo went back to his family.

Last fall, after moving into my new house and once more hanging up the ancestors, I was trying to decide what to do with Uncle Guido's frame.  I asked my Dad which of our small family photos he thought I should have enlarged for it.  Dad said that Uncle Guido is better-looking than any of our real relatives, so I should just hang him up and pretend he's related.

And I did.  He adds a little class to the central hallway in my house.  I can't help but wonder, though - who was he really?  I doubt very much that he was the shopkeepers' uncle, any more than he's mine.  He does look, though, as if he might have been Italian.  Wouldn't it be a hoot if he really was a Guido?

"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." ~George Bernard Shaw


  1. I discovered you through BlogHer and enjoyed your last few musings, so will follow along. Loved your dad's line about Uncle Guido & loved the old photograph. Doesn't looking at intriguing ancestors make you want to dig out those skeletons in the closet?

  2. Hi, Pat! Yes, Dad has been collecting genealogy information for the last several years and I keep waiting for him to find a horse thief or serial embezzler among the ancestors. They can't all have been as boringly upright as his research so far indicates; if they were, where did the family sense of humor come from??