Tag Archives: nameless

Update on the nameless faces

I guess I’m not the only person who loves a good mystery.

I had absolutely no idea how much attention this post would receive. Throughout last weekend, I watched the statistics pile up as people from all over the world shuffled through, eager to look for and offer clues.

Here are a few of the insights and suggestions that people had:

• To try and date the Hello Kitty shirt that the one child is wearing in order to figure out when the pictures were taken. I’ve done some preliminary searching for vintage/nostalgia Hello Kitty tees, but haven’t had much luck. Does anyone have more suggestions about how or where I could track this?

• There was the suggestion that the “Welcome Friends” sign could mean that the family members are Quaker. Being in Central Ohio, with a lot of family connections and regular travel east of of here (mostly to Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut), this seems like a reasonable suggestion, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

• I found the suggestion that the two children are twins really interesting. They look so different, but could clearly be the same age. The gender of the Hello Kitty child seems to have confounded a lot of people. You can see the traces of a ponytail on his/her shoulder, but if these were taken in the 1980s (the dawn of Hello Kitty in the U.S., it was pointed out to me), that would also be the age of the mullet, so who knows?

• It was suggested that experts at police stations could render projections of these faces in older years to aid the search, but I can’t really afford to go and have that done. Anyone know a person with such a skill, or have access to software that we could use to do that?

I did send links to this post to a number of family members and close friends who have been to my mother’s house in recent years, but there has been no movement on that front. Since I’m from a family with scads of steps, halves and in-laws in my tree, I plan to send out some more over the holidays to see if I can shake out any more information.

If there are any new developments, I will keep you posted!

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Who on earth are these people?

A couple of years ago, my mother found an old roll of film in her house and developed it. She didn’t recognize any of the faces in the pictures.

Most of the guests that she and my stepfather have hosted in their home over the last 18 years have been family members. So she passed the pictures around at Christmas after she found them. Still, no one recognized the people, the flowers, the welcoming goose or the bell.

I found the pictures again today. I’ve been trying to clear a few of the stray boxes of random stuff I have around the house. My husband asked why I kept them, since no one knows who these people are.

The images are so methodical and symmetrical. They were taken with such clear intent, meant to be put in a multi-paned frame or photo album and passed through generations. It seemed callous to cast them, negatives and all, into the garbage.

I’m also fond of the weird and rosy glow that the aged film gave their earnest expressions. I like the hint of a ponytail that sits on the androgynous Hello Kitty child’s shoulder like three shoelaces.

I also love a mystery.

By the time that the fourth or fifth family member looked at these and shrugged in utter confusion, I laughed for an unreasonable amount of time. I imagined all kinds of scenarios that could land a stray roll of film at our house, by way of somebody’s purse, luggage or briefcase. I imagined family members with unknown second lives and science fiction conspiracies in which these important faces were zapped out of our memory through some unknown technology.

There’s only one image that’s incongruous with the others:

For the sake of de-cluttering my cluttered home, I thought I’d put out this last clarion call to more distant relatives and the winds of the Internet to see if I can find out their identities and deliver the photos to the appropriate hands.

Any clues? Theories? Face identification experts?

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