Sunday, October 22, 2006


E.L.F. Scott (sepia), originally uploaded by Patrick Q.

This old portrait of my great-great grandmother, and a few others like it, used to hang in my grandmother's attic. The life-size oddities frightened a generation of grandchildren, not only because of their stiff expressions and odd fashions.

It's their eyes! I don't know why, but their eyes seem to follow you no matter where you are in the room. My mom says they did the same thing when they hung in her grandmother's living room. She and her brother Bob used to lie on their stomachs and slide on the wooden floor while their ancestors eyes followed them.

My nieces and nephews don't like them at all - declaring them creepy. But I think they are cool, in a Ripley's kind of way. I was pretty sad when they were destroyed in a house fire a few years back. I'm thinking of framing life-size duplicates made from the scans I have of them. It just doesn't seem like home without my dead ancestors hanging around staring at me.