COBWEB CORNERS: The value in old pictures

By Mel McFarland

       I have a thing about old pictures; unfortunately few share it. Even as a child, I enjoyed sitting and going through old albums stored in old closets and trunks. It did not bother me not to know who some of the people were, or where they were taken. As I got older, this is what interested me. It definitely has stayed with me.
       I hate to find an album in an antique shop where all of the pictures are removed. What happened? Were they just pitched into the trash? There are tons of questions. Ever hear that a picture is worth a thousand words? I believe it. It was looking for pictures that got me fired up about writing my first book. I have developed a good-sized collection of pictures now. Many of them, I have no idea where they were taken, but there is something interesting in them. One of the amazing things is the amount of information that can be seen in some of them that no one realizes is there. I have a couple dozen pictures my grandfather took of things he obviously wanted to remember. I know some are his favorite cow, horse, even chickens. What shows up in some of these is really interesting - views you might not expect of an old family home, candid views of unsuspecting relatives, old cars, trucks and trains passing by. So what is the point of all this? A couple of suggestions, One, if you can find someone who knows, have them put as much information on the pictures (or with them) as possible. Two, DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY! And this goes for the negatives too! Three, keep them cool and dry. The attic is the worst place, other than a damp basement. If you do not want them, either put them where they will not get in your way, or find someone who will take care of them.
       Then, that comes to the current search, looking for old pictures of the Colorado City area. I know there must be dozens out there. I bet some are of Grandad's favorite cow. Some may have unrecorded information about some of the buildings around town! In my grandfather's pictures, I found one of a house a few blocks from my old house. It was under construction, and he was helping build it! It is sometimes fun to find what some of these scenes look like today, once you can figure out where it is.
       But back to Colorado City, the folks at the Old Colorado History Center are looking to see good ones of our town. You may have a picture that shows something no one else knows about.
       Some of you have heard about the programs I give, like the one at the History Center. That is how I have collected many of the photos I use in those programs. One more thing, If you would like to donate old pictures but just do not have the energy to do it, call the History Center; they have volunteers that might be able to help you out.