A few years ago after my grandmother passed away my father and I found a box of photographs and documents in a closet. At the top were photos we recognized: family trips, cousins, weddings and births, but as we sifted through the box we went further back in time until finally reaching the turn on the twentieth century.
At the bottom of the box were photos of her father—my great-grandfather—during World War I, his Army discharge papers, and paperwork for things like apartment leases and life insurance. As we assembled the pieces a portrait of a man began to emerge. Continue reading