As a child I loved time spent looking through portraits passed down through generations of relatives. I remember asking my grandma everytime we had a few spare moments to please get out that old worn suitcase and tell me about those interesting looking people from our past. As time went by and she was forgetting who some of the names and faces were, it was engrained in my memory, all about them, where they lived, how old they were, how we were related and some happy and sad stories to pass on down. In later years I was doing family research, wanting to not only have names but a face to go with each one. I visited relatives and collected more stories and priceless images.
The best story of all was to find out that my great grandmother Sarah Stover Irvan had her camera and darkroom in her attic of her farmhouse in rural Arkansas around 1910-1920's. Photography was a love of mine from childhood and still is. It is about so much more than the image but preserving of memories, relationships, and carrying them down to the next generation. I never met my great grandmother, she passed when my grandpa was around 12 years old, many years before I was even thought of, and I have an instant connection with her!