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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dredging Up the Past Isn't Always Productive

We came, we saw, we dithered. At the request of a former San Mateo Times editor, Belmont's Michelle Carter, a small group of ex-Times staffers converged on the San Mateo County History Museum today to try to sort through several boxes of old photographs dating back more than 55 years. For a time, it was thought that the memorabilia had been lost once the daily newspaper had been sold to Dean Singleton and his newspaper group in 1996. But they had been stored away by a private citizen who recently sold the collection to the museum. The bulk of the glossy pictures, mainly those of men, had already been filed away alphabetically, leaving the rest for a careful examination by the volunteers. Unfortunately, by and large, there were few, if any, striking finds in the material. There was only a very slim smattering of stuff with even a hint of  true historic value in the mounds of unlabeled photos. Not that we didn't try to find some gems. But, somehow, shots of the 1964 Republican National Convention at the Cow Palace, unnamed recreation facilities, anonymous bureaucrats, publicity stills, etc. just didn't stimulate the juices too much. It was rather mundane. Nonetheless, the job is not complete. More work lies ahead. It's likely that we'll return to the Redwood City archive room fairly soon. We're hoping for a more productive outcome.     

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