Risque Photo Leaves Much to the Imagination

Dad and me, ca. 1978. This was not a surprising photo to find stashed in a box of family snapshots... But there is one that was...

Dad and me, ca. 1978. This was not a surprising photo to find stashed in a box of family snapshots… But there is one that was…

A couple years ago my dad gave me a big box of photos his own dad gave him after my grandmother died. I think I was the first to sort through the box.

Among the hodgepodge of unorganized snapshots:

  • My grandparents and another couple at a Chinese restaurant in the 1960s.
  • My grandfather, who served in Europe in World War II, in his Army uniform. He is small, with pronounced ears, and vaguely resembles Humphrey Bogart.
  • A series of faded, ghostly shots from a formal dining table stacked high with china and with a woman in an A-line dress standing to the side. It looks like the bounty from a bridal shower. I think the woman is my grandmother, but it’s too blurry to know for sure.
  • A girl (Dad thinks she’s his aunt) showing off an engagement ring to another girl (perhaps my grandmother).
  • And, then… My grandmother – definitely my grandmother – wearing lingerie and posed seductively on a coffee table.

That last one caught me off guard. My grandmother posed for sexy photos? Did my grandfather take them??

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How to make a window photo frame

It takes a while, but its worth it.

1. Buy a window. I got this one at an antique mall in Nashville for $30.

2. Remove the old window panes. If they are in good condition, save them. My window was so old that most of the panes shattered when I tried to take them out. (They had been painted to the wood and when I removed the paint, they broke.)

3. Strip the wood of old paint, if you wish. Or leave it.

4. Sand it down so it’s splinter-proof and you don’t mind it hanging inside your home.

5. Paint over the sanded wood with a sealant. I chose a clear sealant, but you may prefer a stain or paint.

6. Buy glass to fit each pane. Lowe’s and Home Depot will custom-cut glass to fit. (It’s very inexpensive, thank goodness.)_

7. BEFORE you install the glass in the window, mount the photos to the glass as you wish. To mount photos:

8. Clean the glass with a glass cleaner like Windex.

9. Condition it with an agent designed for glass crafts. I used Delta Surface Conditioner. I honestly don’t know if this was necessary, but at this point I wasn’t taking any more chances.

10. Adhere the backs of the photographs to glass with an adhesive designed for slick surfaces. I used Aileen’s Glass and Bead adhesive.

11. Use a foam roller brush to apply glaze over the whole surface – on top of the photographs – sealing them to the glass and creating a smooth, uniform (ish) surface. I used Delta Clear Gloss Glaze. They also make an opaque, but I wanted to see my photos through the glaze.

12. Mount the glass inside the window. I secured mine using finishing nails I hammered in VERY GENTLY behind each glass pane.

13.  Screw hardware to the back of the whole thing. I used eye-hook picture hangers heavy enough to support 100 pounds, because that’s about how heavy this thing feels. I used two: one on each end, and hung from picture hooks I measured before nailing to my wall.

14. Get someone to help you hang it up. I asked my 9-year-old daughter, and that was all I needed. I didn’t want to wait another second.

The backside of a photograph

6/5/1964: Mrs. Howard Johnson Jr., center, and her daughter Cassie, right, wind up the tour of the Sunbeam plant by meeting Sir Clacky-Wack who had free bread for Cassie. They were part of the four-day open house at the Murfreesboro Road plant for the 75th anniversary celebration of the American Bread Co. (Joe Rudis / The Tennessean)

I need a scanner so I can share with you a photograph of my grandparents in the 1940s, where they are sitting on the grass with her sister looking careless. All three are beyond a decade younger than I am now.

He’s in the middle, leaning toward my grandmother to his right. Her sister is to his left, pointing to her own ring finger, which she’s holding up to show the camera. She’s just gotten engaged? This must be reassuring to my grandmother, since I think this sister used to date her boyfriend – the boy sitting between them. Maybe this photograph captures a moment that set the course one way instead of another: Morris married Betty.

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