Part of the reason I was so excited to go to AJ6BP was to see my grandparents, Mama Kitty and Big Jake.
You may remember Mama Kitty from the infamous Christmas card series I posted this past December.
If you haven’t seen those Christmas cards, please take a moment and look at them now. Then join me in asking this important question: is it even legal for a woman of her age to look that good in lingerie?
She rocks those high heeled white boots in a way that I could simply never do. Because though her genes have been passed along to 3 daughters and 7 female grandchildren, there is simply no one like her.
To keep her connected to the increasingly digital family news, my Mom helps her navigate the internet. Here she is checking out my cousin Charles and his wife Rachel’s first baby:
(and there’s aunt Jacquie’s notorious living room furniture in the background of the shot)
Her daughters have inherited her elegance, her taste in clothing, her bright smile and good looks, and her knack for pulling off wild jewelry and a great hat.
Case in point: aunt Jacquie’s amazing earrings. I think those are parrots, to the tune of 2 per ear.
Sadly, though I love big earrings from time to time, somehow I ended up with a large head that just looks bizarre in most hats. Why, Darwin? You’d think that the more hat-worthy heads would, by natural selection, triumph in this fashion-obsessed world.
But moving on to Big Jake!
Big Jake? But my name is Gandalf.
I fight the evil dominion of Sauron on a daily basis.
I also enjoy a good mixed drink!
You want some?
If you think Big Jake’s (I mean Gandalf’s) hair and beard are slightly out of control, you ain’t seen nothin,’ my friend. See, at one point many years ago, he vowed never to trim his hair again and thus take his unruly mane to the grave. A few years into this promise, he was looking either like a bohemian French artiste . . . or a homeless man.
(Note: this didn’t last until the grave, because a certain doctor made the decision to tame his unmanageable locks during a certain surgery.)
In fact, one of my clearest memories of my sister Heidi’s wedding a year and a half ago involves a very straggly-haired Big Jake. I was one of the bridesmaids, and we were all dressed and ready for the ceremony. The wedding was starting in 20-30 minutes, and we girls were taking some final pictures of Heidi in the hall outside the sanctuary while the guys helped Mike prepare his soul. Or whatever it is guys do right before a wedding. I heard footsteps; I turned around. “Oh my gosh!” I thought, with a sharp intake of breath. “There’s a homeless man coming towards us! We’re just a bunch of defenseless girls wielding bouquets! I need to alert someone!”
And then I did a double take and realized it was my own grandfather, who moments later was pressing a couple hundred dollar bills into my hand. See, he’d heard I had an interest in photography and was determined to help fund the purchase of a camera.
A few months later, I bought my Nikon on craigslist. A few months after that, I started this blog. And more than a year after that, here we are, with posts fueled by pictures regularly taken with that very camera. So I guess you could call him one of the patrons saints of this blog. Or, I mean, patron wizards.
Now that I think about it, most of my memories of Big Jake involve him pressing either money or alcohol into my hands. And railing on me for not wearing high heels, to the cries of “If you got it, flaunt it!”
I love you guys, Mama Kitty and Big Jake! There is no one like you, and never will be.