Sunday, July 30, 2006

My mother's home.

I was stunned by a news story I read today. It was on the AP wire, a national news story that I have since learned is international news.

A photographer, living in my mother's small hometown of Oxford, Iowa, took photographs of most every resident of the town in 1984. In 2005, he took photos of the same people who remained. He was surprised at how many actually did remain living there. He teamed up with a writer and University instructor, and the result is The Oxford Project.

It shows small town America, unadorned, hopeful, tragic, and otherwise the same as all of us. It is a stunning portrait of humanity.

It also showcases some of my relatives. Iowa Honn is my great-aunt; she was married to my grandfather's brother. Her son, John Honn, is also featured in the project. He's my dad's cousin.

Please take some time looking at the gallery of the site. I'm hoping and hoping for this project to be made into a book, so that I may keep it close forever. My mother has already started an even more important process: she's contacted the photographer to get a copy of the photograph he took of her mother, my grandmother, in 1984. She died in 1997, and therefore was not included in the final project.

It's just so wonderful for me to know that my family, and part of my childhood as far as that town is concerned, has made some interational history (Guardian Weekend is running an article in September, and Shanghai Morning Post is running an article soon).

For some reason, I'm proud. And I didn't have anything to do with it.

Photo Copyright Peter Feldstein. All rights reserved to him. Used with permission.


  1. That's cool!

    Really - you should be proud because these people are your family and they're featured in this project.

  2. PS: Do you already have a copy of this book? PLEASE say you do or that you're going to get one. I think that'd be so cool to have!

  3. The book doesn't yet exist. They are working on it. The whole project just started getting this big press a week ago. I am on his mailing list, though, and I'm in contact with him, so when the book comes out, I'm on it.

  4. That's really cool. What a great way to preserve memories.

  5. Yay! I agree...that's a great keepsake to have, and I'm sure your daughter (when she's old enough) will enjoy seeing pictures of relatives from "long ago".