A few months ago I stumbled onto a fun website called Dear Photograph. It is a place where you as the reader can contribute by submitting a photograph from your past. The photograph usually stirs up some memory or emotion. The object is to revisit the place the the picture was originally taken, hold the old photo over your field of vision through your camera, try to line up the photo with real life, and snap a picture. It's like revisiting the past while looking at the future, how things have changed, or how they have stayed the same.
I was intrigued by the concept and had a desire to so this on my recent visit to my hometown of Mesa, Arizona. The weather was blast furnace from Hell hot, however. The daytime highs ranged from 110 to 119 degrees Fahrenheit during the week of my visit. The day my brother took my Mom, my sister, and me out to see the old places it was clear there would be no stopping and getting out of the cool interior of his Dodge Ram pickup! I did not want to ask him to do so, or put my 90 year old mother through that. So, I hit upon an idea. Why not try to match up my photos to views on Google Earth Street View?
The following are some the results of my "virtual tour" of some of my family's old homes.
In the future I'll post more for some time traveling posts.
This is the first and only house my parents ever built new. It is located at 161 North Hunt Drive East, Mesa, AZ. I was so happy to see how well it has been taken care of lately. It looks like the current owners really care about it.
This photo shows my father George and my older siblings Sharon, Dean, & Richard Ellsworth. The year was 1952-53. This must not be long after the family moved in because there is no grass.
This picture shows my two brothers playing out in the side yard. Richard has a football. I was interested to see that the house behind my parents had not been built yet. This one looks to be a few years later as the boys both look taller and there are bushes planted. I wonder if the current ones are the same ones my Dad put in the ground.
My mother wrote on the back of this photo, George and Dean after they planted our first citrus tree. I am guessing at the angle it was taken. The current citrus trees and the telephone pole match up pretty well. Is this the same tree? That would be so cool!
Here are my Dad and brother Richard after planting a shade tree. I am not certain but I think this might be the one as the corner of East 2nd Place and Hunt Drive are behind them. Look in the old photo at how that neighborhood is all farmland in in the early 50's. Just a few years later in 1966 our family would buy a year-old house at 323 North Hunt that would be built in that open land. In just those 10 years or so, that entire area would be built up.
here. It looks to me like that effort continues. I was so impressed with how neat and clean the old hood is. It looks like that lovely place that I grew up again!