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I love looking at old family photographs, don’t you? This one is of my great-grandmother, Madeline and great-grandfather, Pietro, and their 2 oldest children, Carmela, 5 1/2 years old, and Nick, 3 1/2.

 This was taken in September of 1917. Everyone looks so solemn here. You know how people didn’t used to smile in photographs? Maybe that’s the reason for the sad faces. Well……sort of. Turns out that Carmela, the little girl who later became my grandmother, remembered this occasion quite well. Seventy years after this picture was taken, Carmela told the story:

“Night before pictures were taken, landlady made spaghetti with EXTREMELY hot peppers, and I got such awful cramps and wanted to go to the bathroom, but no one paid attention as they were busy with photographer and prices. I cried so much that the picture shows the tearful face.”

Oh my….look at the picture again.

Yep, they can’t wait for the photo session to end. So that just goes to show you. Things aren’t always as they appear to be in old pictures. Sometimes there is a very good reason for the long faces.

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