Saturday, December 13, 2014

Before and After Pictures

Location: McKinney Falls State Park; Austin, Texas
(click pictures to enlarge)

I arrived at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas Thursday afternoon. 

When I was visiting with my sister a few weeks ago, we went through some boxes of old pictures that were taken when we were children. Some seemed to show us on a trip somewhere. Neither of us could remember where it was but the buildings looked official. Since my family lived in Texas until about 1958, I thought it may be either Austin or San Antonio, so I headed to Austin first. I was hoping to find the locations where the pictures were taken nearly 56 years ago. I went to the state capital grounds and although it was like a scavenger hunt to find the locations, I was able to find three of them. I tried to take the picture from the same perspective that my folks did. Standing close to the same spot they were standing. Some of the Before pictures aren't dated, but judging by the size of the chubby baby (me), and the bare trees in the background, it would have been late 1957 or early 1958. Later on in 1958 is when my father started working for Al Johnson Construction Company and the family started moving around the country from project to project. But at this time, my sister and I believe we were living in Port Lavaca, Texas, which is only a few hours away from Austin/San Antonio. If my parents planned it right, we could have made a day trip of it. It was fun tracking down the spots and visualizing my parents with 3 kids wandering around the place where I was visiting. I wondered if we packed a lunch and ate on the grass which would have been common back then or if we splurged and ate at cafe. Were we laughing, fussing, whining? Did they get tired of carrying me? Was it chilly that day? Surely we three kids fell asleep during the car drive back home. These things we will never know because it is just my sister and me who are left, and neither of us remember. We all believe what we want to believe, and for me, that day was full of laughing and having a good time. It was a good day then and it was a good day today.    

Before (about 1958/57)
This is a memorial to the Texas
Cowboys located on the
southwest corner of the
capital grounds.
 Sitting dangerously on

the base of the statue are my 
brother (age 11 or 12),
me (age 1 or 2) and my 
sister (age 6 or 7). 

After (12/12/14)
They planted a lot more shrubs
around the statue now. 
Before (about 1957/58)
This cannon is located at the
southern entrance of the capital.
I assume it is symbolically pointed
As to why I'm not in this picture,
I can only assume my brother
and sister had been mean to me
since I was "the baby". Judging
by the cocky pose my sister is doing,
it is a good bet she was the culprit.

After (12/12/14)
Noticed they put a cover over the
end of the cannon, the mailbox
is gone and there is a handicap
Before (about 1957/58)
My brother and sister must have
pulled me out of the cannon
because I'm back in this picture.
It is a statue of liberty located
somewhere on the grounds. 

After (12/12/14)
This is the statue but the base it
sits on has changed. Apparently
they relocated it and changed
the foundation. I couldn't find
the old foundation.
Those were the only three pictures I could match up to the state capital grounds. There are several more and I hope some of the remaining ones are from the San Antonio area which is where I'm heading next. If I can not find the locations, I'll post the pictures on facebook to see if anyone recognizes the background. 

There is one more set of pictures I want to post here, but it isn't in Texas. As I was going through the pictures in the box, one seemed familiar. After a while, it came to me. It was a picture of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. I had been there back in August of this year and took a picture at almost the same spot.

Before (fall of 1959)
This is a picture of one of
the American locks in Sault Ste.
Marie, Michigan. The picture is
dated Jan of 1960 but that would
have been the date the picture
was developed, not taken.
Judging by the water not being
frozen, I would assume it was
fall or early winter of 1959.

After (8/21/14)
The big difference between the
before and after is the bridge in
the background of the After. The
bridge isn't in the Before, because
it hadn't been built yet.
The reason we moved there was
because my father was working
on the bridge project.

This is a wider view of the same picture.

It was nice back-tracking my parents. It would have been nicer to have been able to show them the Before and After's and ask them the questions that were going through my head as I was taking the After's. So, if your folks are still around, ask them your questions while you still can. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll cya down the road.


  1. Wow!! What fun to before and after those!! So enjoy this blog!!

  2. Thanks Robin. It was both fun and emotional back-tracking my folks. I'm glad you enjoy the blog.

  3. Just met you today at the Bullock. Looking forward to following your travels. Happy trails to you...