Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Grandfather Was A Scrapbooker!! Big Time!!

My grandfather, Roy T. Johansen, was an avid scrapbooker. I remember watching him write on the pages in his scrapbooks. He always used a ruler. Placing the ruler on the page, then writing each letter above the ruler, but ending the word at the straight edge. If any letter needed finishing below the ruler's edge, he completed the letters after removing the ruler from the page. As a result, his writing was always perfectly straight and very legible.

Each scrapbook was given a title, a purpose for it's creation. Most often, the purpose for the scrapbook was to document a vacation both grandma and grandpa had taken. Consequently, the pages were often filled with photos, postcards, maps, napkins from restaurants, receipts for gas, hotels, and food. Some of the trips were not vacations, but were taken to attend family funerals or family weddings. Consequently, some of the scrapbooks contain wedding invitations, funeral service programs, and newspaper clippings for births, deaths, and marriages. We know of at least 18 scrapbooks that were created by my grandfather. A few of the titles are:

  • Our Family Fun Times
  • Trip to Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah
  • Ada Curtis Family
  • Dona and Reed; Brigham City; Jackson Hole; Hayden Lake; Crater of the Moon; Glenn Canyon; Monument Valley; Moab (The longest title of all the scrapbooks)
  • Clayt and Mel
  • 1961 Trip with Florence and Clifford
  • 1965 Southern California Edison Company Retirement

Literally, thousands of photographs are in the scrapbooks. Grandpa did not write a lot of the details in the scrapbooks, but we could still piece together hundreds of stories based upon what he saved in each book. The maps he saved plot the exact route they took while on their trips. Grandpa was a map-maker and worked for the Southern California Edison Company. I'm sure that his profession was the reason he included so many maps. I also think his meticulous writing was a result of his work as a map-maker. Unfortunately, he did not write a lot in the scrapbooks and rarely were people in the photos identified. But I can still imagine what it was like for him to take a trip back home to his place of birth, a place he had not seen since he was four months old. I wish his thoughts and feelings were recorded in the scrapbooks about the places they traveled to and the friends and family they visited. My father and his sisters have helped identify some of the people in the photos, but not everyone. I've learned a lot about my grandparents, Roy and Ada [Curtis] Johansen from the scrapbooks. I'm grateful grandpa took the time to create each book and I'm grateful we still have them in the family. They are a treasure in our family that we will always cherish. Thank you Grandpa for taking the time to create your scrapbooks!

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