1979 Family Pics

This page shows photos of individual family members, circa 1979 and 1980, that I took in the year after I bought my first camera.

Starting with the June 1979 visit of Lisa and Kevin to California, just after my own trip to visit them (and our parents) in Tullahoma, TN.

Here’s Lisa (born 1962 and thus 17 at the time), Kevin (born 1964, thus 15), and Sue (born July 1958, so 21). Then Lisa and Kevin in the car, as we all drove to Apple Valley (Sue was driving her car [I didn’t have a car yet], I was taking pictures), Lisa and Kevin with their then-cool aviator sunglasses. (Click all pics for larger images.)

These are photos I took, had developed and printed, kept in photo albums for decades, and then scanned about a year ago. (Posting this in Oct. 2020.)

In looking through these old photos, sometimes I wonder, is that all there is? Why didn’t I take more photos?

Well, because in those days of 40 years ago, long before digital cameras or smartphones, you had to own a camera something like this —

— And you had to buy the film (which came in little yellow cylinders), that fit inside the camera, then once the photos were taken, take the film canisters to a development shop (a camera store, or even, as I recall, drive-through chain called Fotomat), and wait two or three days to get back the prints. All of this cost money. It was not like today (in 2020), when you can take hundreds of photos on your iPhone, and it costs you nothing. When every photo entailed a cost, of film and developing, you took photos sparingly.

(I must say, handling this camera just now, I’m impressed by its physical engineering precision. The clear view through the finder, with a tiny circle in the middle to aid in focusing; the smooth movements of the advance lever and the shutter release. It was a different world 40 years ago, but not a less sophisticated one; it was accomplished in ways that have now almost been forgotten. Humans have been smart for hundreds of thousands of years; the way that smartness manifests itself has changed over the centuries and decades.)

Next, my grandmother (“Grammie”) and my father, again circa 1979 or 1980. (She would have been 79, he 47.)


Then here are a couple photos at what I think must have been Sue’s apartment at the time…

Finally, pictures of a Thanksgiving dinner, in Apple Valley, with Grammie, Uncle Bob, me, and Sue. Grammie on her outdoor patio.