Tuesday’s Child’s Family Heirlooms: My Dad’s Photography

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has A Story suggested doing posts on heirlooms in a discussion in the Genealogy Bloggers Facebook group and wrote Now Where Did I Put That? Several bloggers have taken her up on the challenge to write about their heirlooms and we hope more will follow our lead.

Doesn’t everyone have family heirlooms? Furniture, jewelry, clothes, painting, letters or postcards, books, recipes, collections (tools, cameras, cooking utensils) or other keepsakes? Do you have an inventory of your heirlooms? I don’t and I plan on fixing that. I want to photograph my keepsakes to share them on a weekly basis with short descriptions and why they are important to me.

What better day to start a new series of posts than on my Dad’s birthday and featuring one of the heirlooms he left for all of his family to treasure! My being a Tuesday’s child was a second thought….

My Dad, Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY, would have turned 80 years old today. Sadly he left us at the young age of only 38 years, over 41 years ago.

Dad enjoyed trying out new crafts and left several “masterpieces” with the greatest being his photography. From 1957 until his death in 1974 he took pictures of the family at Christmas, birthdays, special occasions, daily life, on trips. While looking at them for this post I realized he was telling the story of our family in pictures.

He was a mechanic and crew chief fascinated with planes and loved to photograph airshows, planes on the flightline, and his colleagues at work.

He also experimented with taking nature photos. He didn’t live long enough to know one day there would be digital photography. He had to be set up his camera for the perfect, or not so perfect, picture. The subjects of the photos were chosen carefully as the film for slides was not cheap for a GI with five children and a wife.

These are some of my favorite non-family pictures he took in 1963-1967.

1963-11-06 Beaufort

1964-05-19 Aulnois

1964-05-20 Aulnois

1964-06-125 Aulnois

1964-08-03 Aulnois

1965-09-021 Aulnois

1967-10-010 Airplanes02

1965-11-022 AirplanesHappy Birthday Dad. We love and miss you. Thank you for the memories.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

As a military brat I've lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Married 39 years with two grown children. When I’m not doing genealogy, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful countryside in Luxembourg and surrounding countries.

11 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Child’s Family Heirlooms: My Dad’s Photography”

  1. So enjoyed reading about your dad and thanks for sharing his photos!!! Could “see” your dad setting his camera up for those special shots. Loved the cow photo…somehow I could almost see your dad’s reflections in those big cow eyes!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOVE the cow! Second favorite is the beautiful planes in the sky. Great idea, indexing family heirlooms. Mine’s easy: a doll made by my mother. Maybe a pic of two of me and my Mom and Father. That’s it. No “furniture, jewelry, clothes, painting, letters or postcards, books, recipes, collections (tools, cameras, cooking utensils) or other keepsakes” that I can think of. But I’ll live vicariously through your posts! Keep ’em coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed each and every one of the pictures. You have a precious memory and it is wonderful to be putting things together for your children. Hope next time you have a family gathering that your album will be right in the middle of the table where no one can miss it.
    Lynda went through my house and photographed every heirloom. Then she made a booklet with the name of herself, Vernon, Max, and Jeanette on indexed pages. When next everyone was together, each chose which of the heirlooms they would like to “inherit”. When I moved from the very large house into my current smaller house, most of the furniture and a lot of the items went to the children because the heavy oak furniture would not fit into this little place I now have. I can now view the heirlooms scattered, but still visible, in the homes of my children. A few things were passed on to grandchildren who wanted them, but it was made very plain where those items came from and how important it is to make certain they stay within the family. Treasures.

    Liked by 1 person

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