Monday, July 21, 2008

There Will Be (in my) Blood

This photo was taken in about 1912 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My Great-Great-Grandparents are on the left, Palestine and Mary, their daughter Winifred, who we fondly called "Auntie", their friends Jesse and Mable in front, and Mable's mother and sister in back. They moved their family to New Mexico from Indiana in an effort for their son, Guy, who was ill with tuberculosis, to recuperate.

Parts of the movie, There Will Be Blood, were actually filmed outside of Albuquerque. When I saw this film, I was transported straight back in time to the 1910 Albuquerque of my ancestors. I have never been there, but immediately recognized the rocky stubble of the landscape.

I have often wondered how Palestine's voice and accent might have sounded. In the film, Daniel Day-Lewis, who played the part of Daniel Plainview, was silent through the opening mining scenes. When he started to speak, in the first meeting with the townspeople, I felt chills listening to his character's distinctive voice! I was instantly back in time ... it could have been Palestine himself speaking! Day-Lewis studied oral histories of the time period to create his unique American accent and style of speech. I was absolutely mesmerized by his Oscar winning performance.

I also felt my roots in the wonderful surveying scenes, since I have several generations of surveyors from this ancestral line. Palestine, as well as his father, Joseph Lorenzo Dow Hanna, were surveyors. JLD served as county surveyor in Howard Co., Indiana from 1861-1865. I just might have to go back and see this film again, before it leaves the theater, just to feel my DNA tingle.

23 comments:

  1. I am really enjoying these little travels back in time! I hope you do a lot of them!

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  2. I will! In all my genealogy work and talks with GP, I've got lots of interesting stories and photos. Stay tuned... ;)

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  3. Do you know if Aunties hair was naturally curly? It really has a lot of curl! ~ especially for that dry climate.

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  4. I love hearing about peoples' histories--I am the resident family genealogist, and your photo is excellent! Did you have conversations with other family members to know some of this or was it from your research? I was fortunate to have lots of conversations with my parents and grandparents, but I still wish I had sometimes sat folks down and taped conversations. Ahhh...if I'd only known then!!

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  5. Willow, DDL was amazing in that performance. How interesting that you have such a special connection with that film through your ancestry...I remember reading this on your blog in the archives... Great post and just look at the vintage clothing!

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  6. I was very fortunate to get much of our family history from my 93 year old grandfather who passed away last year. And I've also done quite a bit of genealogical research over the last five or six years. I love the history...it's addictive.

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  7. I loved your intro comment....3 readers: 2 family members and you. LOL.

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  8. That is such an interesting post! I'm going to have to see this movie now and listen out for the accent. I love the photo and story. Albuquerque, btw, is mesmerizing. I actually really like the drive there. the dry mountain range next to it seems to rise up to staggering heights. It is so barre, fierce, yet mesmerizing and when the sun sets absolutely exquisite in all its desert glory.

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  9. BTw, I'm so glad you did repost some of your older posts. A very good idea for those of us a little late to your blog. Wow. From 3 readers to many posts with upward to 30 comments!! You have quite the following now. We love your blog. It is so varied and lovely.

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  10. I’ve always wanted to go to Albuquerque.

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  11. Very interesting. I love to examine old photographs. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on your family's history. I don't think I've seen the movie you mentioned either. Pappy

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  12. Nice to find a connection on the big screen

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  13. I have always wanted to visit Albuquerque, too! The landscape is so very different from what I'm used to here in the midwest. And I would like to see the grave of one of my gg grandfathers.

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  14. Marie, this is a small picture postcard, that were so popular at the time. I took a jpg file into Kinko's and had them print a 20" x 30" print, which I framed and hung in my dining room. I love it!

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  15. Willow...I do enjoy seeing photos and hearing about your family history. I am always drawn to the fashion of the day and I might say....your folks are dressed in the finest of fashion ....Great photo and post.

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  16. Mr. Steamed Sponge altered me this morning to the fact that we both have mentioned this movie in our latest posts. Great minds, indeed! I am glad you are re-visiting your older entries, as I have been at this endeavor only a short while so I would love to catch up on your interesting words! Lovely photo, you are fortunate to have it! Best!

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  17. Wonderful! Don't you often wish for a time machine to peek into the past? I do! Sadly much of my family genecology has been lost in time and emigration. I wish I knew who my great grands were.

    TB was a deathly scourge at the time -- when my husband and I do our Civil War veteran research for Geen-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, we often shake our heads at how many, many young men and women and children perished from the disease!

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  18. Wonderful! Don't you often wish for a time machine to peek into the past? I do! Sadly much of my family genecology has been lost in time and emigration. I wish I knew who my great grands were.

    TB was a deathly scourge at the time -- when my husband and I do our Civil War veteran research for Geen-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, we often shake our heads at how many, many young men and women and children perished from the disease!

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  19. Do you have Civil War vets in your family line? WT's gg grandfather was a Union soldier from Missouri. I received a HUGE 80 some page file from NARA of all his war and pension records. A wealth of info.

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  20. Willow, what a great family story/history. Families moved west for a variety of reasons. Thanks for sharing 0 it's a great photo.

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  21. it looks like you're doing some old family photo sorting and genealogy digging.hope you're having fun!!

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)