From the community

Don’t let your ‘cloud’ take the place of real pictures

Posted April 17, 2014, at 9:56 a.m.

Since my children are in their 30s, it’s been awhile since I had in my possession those packets of school portraits that allow parents to divvy up the 5-by-7s and wallet photos to send to family and friends.

So I was quite excited to receive in the mail a manila envelope with pictures of me — me and the PG, to be accurate. The PG is President General Lynn Forney Young, elected leader of the 177,000 members of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.

In the 35 years that I’ve been a DAR member, I’ve been to DAR Continental Congress in Washington only a few times, but I attend chapter and state meetings regularly. The President General visits each state at least once in her three-year term to talk about her projects, from preserving the building complex we own between 17th and 18th streets in Washington to updating the public website in the very near future.

Did I think to take my digital camera to the recent state conference in Waterville? No, not the way I used to remember my 35-mm camera, which required taking the film to a store or mailing it away — and ordering “doubles” so I could share extra copies of the photos.

Fortunately, Honorary State Regent Donna Hoffmann of Bucksport, who takes lovely pictures with her digital camera, not only took a photo of me with Mrs. Young, but printed it out and included some photos I can share with the grandchildren.

There are certainly advantages of digital photos — especially when I’m enjoying new pics of the grandchildren online.

And I know the drawbacks of unidentified photos that pile up like stacks of genealogical notes and can tempt one to throw them out. But some pictures do grow IDs eventually, and I’ve enjoyed the priceless privilege of sharing pictures with some relatives who otherwise would have had few or none.

Remember the new printer that’s been sitting in my kitchen waiting to be turned on for scanning and printing? Well, it did get taken out of the box. Next we’re going to read the instructions. I mean it.

But even when we reach the next step in photo-taking and sharing ability, there will always be places on my walls for photos that I can put up and take down and move around and copy, if need be. Real photos that don’t depend on the life of whichever “cloud” serves me and my relatives and friends and colleagues today.

Yes, I know, back them up. Save them on videotapes, maybe, as I did when we recorded my appearances on “So You Think You Know Maine” back in the 1980s.

Excuse me while I go find a frame for the lovely picture of me and the President General.

And then, in today’s mail, my sister sent me pictures of her new grandson, Carter Scott Zimmerman. Those will go into my purse so I can show them around. Hooray for “real” pictures.

I well remember getting notices of the annual genealogical fair that used to be sponsored by historical societies in Alexander-Crawford and Charlotte.

So I can well believe that people have been asking about reviving that wonderful tradition. The Washington County Historical and Genealogical Society will sponsor a Genealogical Fair 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at Elm Street School just off Route 191 in East Machias.

The event is free, and will offer the opportunity to browse pictures, listings, cemetery records and other resources. WCHGS members are hoping that county historical societies will bring some of their resources for display and enjoy the opportunity to make the acquaintance of other individuals and groups.

Some organizations taking part will have items for sale, such as the CDs that the Archives Committee of Washington County have produced containing the Eastport Sentinel 1818-1854.

The best way to keep up with the doings of the Washington County Historical and Genealogical Society is to join up for $10 a year, sent to WCHGS, ℅ Carole Sprague, 301 Ridge Road, Marshfield, ME 04654.

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email familyti@bangordailynews.com.

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