July 7, 2010
The images fuel my imagination so that the person becomes a character in the story I am writing. I also use them in my writing classes to spark students imagination and in character building.
My collection of photographs comes from all over the country, world in fact. I used to have numerous Daguerreotypes, tin types, early glass negatives and stereo views, but this collection has dwindled.
Years ago, when I was a power seller on Ebay, and once sold old cameras and glass magic lantern slides for a consignor. Some of the images were identifiable, but many were not. I personally bought those that were left, thinking I would do something with them one day - until I found out how much it would cost to convert the glass image to a real picture. I showed them to several people I knew because the photographer was a local name. To my extreme delight, the images were of local people, places, and even things. I did have them reproduced and the images made a fabulous addition to my book, Bethania: The Village by the Black Walnut Bottom. Some of these can be viewed on my website along with modern day images taken by Bowman Gray IV. His photography is awesome and he is soon releasing a book by Blair Publishing - more on this later.
I knew her, knew her history, knew where she lived, knew so many stories about her life. Her name is Emma Augusta Lehman, a daughter of Bethania, and was born in 1841. She taught for fifty years at Salem College. Her discovery of a rare botanical plant in 1903 at Roaring Gap, along with correspondence and other material document how the plant Monotropsis lehmani was named after her, as was a Building at Salem, Lehman Hall.
She lived in one of my homes as a child, and as a getaway, when needed from her busy life. Images were meant to keep memories a live. Please don't throw them out or toss them in the trash pile, send them my way and I'll give them a place in time, and in history.