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

CaseyFamilyPhotos-2-2CaseyFamilyPhotos-1-4

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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