Arthur Sheldon Hall

This post has been languishing in my drafts folder for a while, but I’ve been looking at some photos on my phone and I’ve decided to post it, after all.

My paternal grandfather passed away on November 15, 2012. I had a chance to visit him a few months ago to say my goodbyes, and we spent a lot of time looking at albums full of photographs he’d taken while he was younger, during his college years and during the first years of World War II, which he spent as a pilot in Brazil.

Seeing these photographs revealed more about him, to me, than many of the interactions we’d had when I was growing up. These were the images of a time when he was vigorous and happy, surrounded by friends, having adventures. Some represented his proudest moments, like when he and his college track team won a footrace, and he came in first.

He had a strong eye for framing and composition, and even the snapshots of his friends goofing off have a beauty about them, as well as an obvious sense of humor. Many of them remind me of the new-old aesthetic that’s popular on Tumblr and FFFFound, and if they were in color, they wouldn’t be out of place in a catalogue or in someone’s photo-essay, snapped on an iPhone.

And speaking of phones–the pictures attached to this post are just a handful of the images I captured with mine when I was in El Paso for the funeral (which explains some of the glare, and the judicious cropping).

I brought back a few of the albums with me, and I’m going to go through and scan all of them in, to preserve them, clean them up, and make them available for the family as prints. That’s the small thing I can contribute to the legacy of a person whose life was filled with accomplishments.

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