Ghosts in the Machine

Or, how to get from THIS—CaseyFamilyPhotos-1-7 to THIS.CaseyElaineGus

1. CaseyFamilyPhotos-2-3 2. CaseyFamilyPhotos-1-6 3. CaseyFamilyPhotos-5 

It all started innocently enough. (It always does, doesn’t it?) I decided to have a scanning session, something I have done countless times before. I was looking specifically for some photos to make a birthday album.

I came across this tiny (2”x3”) black and white photo, circa 1958. As far as I know, there are precious few “Family Portraits” of my grandparents and their children.  There is that one over-exposed, standing in the sunshine snapshot. And there is this. I am guessing an anniversary photo. Grandma Elaine is sitting in front of a bouquet, and Daddy Gus stands behind her. Their children are posed, above the mantle, frozen in time- 1952 or so, my father angelic in his first communion attire.

THIS is the only copy of the photo of which I am aware. So, I added it to my pile to be scanned, scanned them all and moved on. Last night I started to edit, retouch, crop etc. And I discovered a very, very odd situation.  I looked at Daddy Gus’s mouth. I thought it odd; I didn’t recall having my cursor on his mouth, or have any recollection or reason to have been playing with the mouth. But, I reset the image to it’s scanned state, expecting my inadvertent error to disappear. Wrong. The image SCANNED that way, it looks like it on the TIFF file. I can see every crack and speck of dust and fingerprints, and Grandma Elaine’s mouth is perfect, but Daddy Gus is smudged.

I checked the scan plate, set the photo on a different spot, and turned it on its side, figuring there was something on the glass. Nope. Same smudge. Someone suggested scanning upside down, but all that did was give him a crazy smirk.  So, I went old school and took a photo of the photo. Finally, success.

Those who knew my grandfather claimed that he was just having some fun with me. Smile with tongue out


This is an interesting shot, taken by ? circa ? The first is the scan, the second is complete with inky finger and palm prints. A 2×2 square photo.


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