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  • Karen Terhune Duncan

On the Wall


I've wanted to hang a wall of family photos since we first moved to this new home in Savannah, but it took a back seat to the many other projects we've had in the last year. Finally I drug out the 5 enormous boxes of carefully wrapped framed family photos. I had not seen them in nearly 3 years! Preparing our last house for sale (in 2015!) we were advised to depersonalize our home, thus taking every photo off the walls, off the shelves and packing them away. And now I was looking at this hodgepodge collection of odd frames and colorful mattings and I was uninspired.

The photos themselves are very precious to me. Our grandparents long gone. Wonderful photos of our parents and whose faces haunt me as does my baby brother Scott's. There are milestones photos of Doug finishing graduate school, and our wedding long, long ago. I decided that these all needed to be rematted and reframed.

My grandmother, Katherine Leete Terhune, circa 1930 with her three children, my Uncle Donn, my father (in the center with all those curls!) Ralph, age 3 and my Aunt Ann who was just 6 months old.

I took each one of them apart. Stripping off the old paper on the back, taking off wire and hooks. With the pictures and glass out, I painted every frame a glossy black. And then spent hours figuring out and editing which ones to frame, what new ones I wanted and fitting them to all these frames.

Once I finished this task I wrapped and boxed them all up and took them to a local Savannah framer that was highly recommended. And like so many delightful new resources I've discovered, Judy and Mary Alice were gems to work with. (although when they finished my 100+ frames they joked don't want to see another black frame!)

We look like a TV sitcom family! Circa 1964

Doug's grandparents, Augustin and Margherita Duncan, Lake Lucern, Switzerland, 1910.

Me with my posse of baby brothers, 1973. My Pittsburgh friends will surely remember Norman Studios!

I chose a large wall area outside the guest room and began figuring out how to hang them. It was like a puzzle.

Now every day I walk past my parents, our long ago families and those we don't seen often and old friends - faces that make me smile or tear up a bit. Either way, I'm so happy to have this bit of our past back in this new home.


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