Thursday, December 27

Challenge Accepted

Page from the French photo album I received for Christmas
    This is an old photo album, which my sister gave me for Christmas this year. She purchased the album at a flea market in Paris about 8-10 years ago. And I received it as a present exactly one week to the day after I returned Bill's photos and medals to him. At the time she gave it to me she said, "There's no way you'll be able to find the former owner of these." (Or something to that effect.) So of course, that's exactly what I intend to do.
    Seeing as it took me nearly two years to find Bill, this may take some time. But, nonetheless, the game is afoot yet again!
The outer cover of the album
    My plan is to dive into researching these photos this afternoon. But I thought it might be helpful to post some preliminary images here. Please let me know if anything jumps out at you about this album. I don't speak French, so I'm at an even bigger disadvantage with this than I was when I started with the cigar box. Any hints or thoughts anyone might be able to provide will go a long way towards helping me with this project. Please feel free to leave your ideas and/or observations in the comments section. Thanks!

Thursday, December 20

Meeting Bill

The Shell in the distance on Highway 31
     I met Bill at a Shell station on Highway 31 and Epperson Springs Rd. in Westmoreland, TN. The trip from my house in Nashville took a little over an hour. Northeast into the Tennessee countryside; it was a great drive for a sunny winter day.
    When I pulled into the Shell, he was waiting for me, standing next to his buddy's white GMC pickup. I could tell he was excited because Bill made a beeline for my car. I, too, was excited but also a little bit nervous...

Friday, December 14


(from CigarBoxLife)
  This afternoon I wrote to a man I've never met and offered him a box full of photos of his father. In my introduction to this stranger, I explained, "I collect old photographs that I find at flea markets and attempt to discover their origins." And it struck me that this would be a good way to introduce myself/this blog and talk a little bit about my goals in writing it.

Wednesday, December 12

What & Why

(image via

"The only new thing in the world is the history you do not know."
-Harry S. Truman

Welcome to The Only New Thing, a history-ish blog about flea markets and detritus from the past.