For about the last two years I have been fighting some serious health issues. As a result twice I have entered hospitals and health care centers. Other matters have complicated my normal existence and frequently depressed me. I make no excuse for this state of affairs, but feel most people would get depressed too. So I have tried to find ways to raise my interests and spirits. This includes occasional jottings in my journals here - usually dealing with history, movies, or crimes (three areas of my interests). But I also learned (finally) how to gather pictures or images off the internet and place them on Deviant Art or other websites. Here the images are placed in the appropriate files of my "Gallery". These files run the gambit from the prurient (can't help that, sorry), to the historical, to local sight-seeing, stamp collecting, books, newspaper illustrations, and various countries.
There are currently a set of four files of people that I consider friends or acquaintances. Occasionally somebody else on "D.A." will look through them, note some picture of a celebrity, and copy it for their own section of "D.A.". I don't mind that, but I do mind if somebody copies a picture of one of the less famous people, which usually ends with me blocking them from seeing the files.
The issue becomes why I started that quartet of files. It was originally two files, but I split into four to make the addition of new pictures easier. Now it seems I will need even than four. The reason I set up these files was that to occupy my time I had started trying to gather material for a book of memoirs. However, if one writes an autobiography one better have a really fully interesting life to keep the readers' attention. I regret to say that if my life is of such a nature it is so subtly interesting that is barely noticeable. Also "memoirs and autobiographies" are notorious for being spots for 'special pleading" by celebrities of all stamps regarding the more controversial acts of their careers. That is the authors will stress all activities to surround himself or herself to defend themselves from what is actually indefensible.
Let me illustrate this: In 1861 the administration of President James Buchanan came to an end, with the United States about to begin the American Civil War. Buchanan's inept administration (usually considered one of the five worst in American history) enabled the bad situation he inherited from Franklin Pierce in 1857 to explode into a set of disasters he either encouraged or failed to stop (the Dred Scott decision, continuing "Bleeding Kansas" - ignored for a pointless invasion of "Deseret" (Utah) to teach the Mormons a lesson after the "Mountain Meadows Massacre" (an invasion that only proved that Brigham Young was so smart he should have been President!), John Brown's attack on Harper's Ferry in 1859, and the "secession winter" of December 1860 to March 1861 when South Carolina led the southern states out of the Union. The inauguration of Abraham Lincoln not only replaced an incompetent with a fully competent individual, but allowed the incompetent one to return to his home in Pennsylvania ("Wheatland", which is still standing) in a state approaching total collapse.
Buchanan stayed in relative obscurity until his death in 1868. It turned out he spent his days writing a defensive memoir about his career in politics, and his four year Presidency. In it he was to say 1) the Southern States had no right to secede from the Union; 2) the President could not stop them from secession if he wanted to do so; 3) Buchanan always wanted the best for his country. The memoirs (like everything else about James Buchanan) didn't satisfy anybody of his own age or later ones. His attempt at special pleading just showed what a weak-willed ass he actually was.
So all my own thoughts about memoir writing were put on a back burner. Instead I concentrated on gathering photos of people I knew well or slightly or just passed on the by-and-by. The results I found more interesting than intended. There were several reasons for this. Gathering photos and pictures proved an arduous chore. I will talk about that a bit later. Connected to that was whose images I could get and whose I could not find. Also I was soon in a game of "Six Degrees of Separation". How many lives separate the files creator from certain people?
Again, an example: When I was eight I met a friend of my mother, Nellie Elinski. Nelly lived in California. About 1962 she visited us for a few days, and I never forgot this warm and wonderful lady. Unfortunately I never saw her again. She died of Cancer a few years later. Yet I still remember her. Nellie's grave marker is on the "Find-a-Grave" website, so I included two copies of it in file number I (under the "E"s). I have not found any photos of Nellie, unfortunately, but following the pictures of the grave marker is an interesting photograph from the internet. Nellie worked at U.S. Army Headquarters in London in 1942 to 1945, and knew Kate Summersby. the assistant to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, with whom she had a wartime relationship. Nellie is one of the few links I have to either Ms Summersby or the General and future 34th President.
[*I may add a second photo of Eisenhower to my mother's section of the files. In the late 1940s, Mom was in the crowds when the General was given a ticker tape parade upon returning to the U.S. from Europe. She once told me she stood on the curb close enough to see him in the limousine he was driven in, and she thought he looked very fit and handsome. This would prove not to be the last time that a U.S. President crossed paths with my mother, or me by extension.
There is a key trick to that game called "Six Degrees of Separation" most of us fail to realize due to its incredible simplicity; Except for some ten or so individuals who walked for a few hours or days on the moon's surface, all of the human race has spent (or had lived) on earth. It means that it is inevitable that all humans will intercept in their lives through others they jointly know due to geographic limitation. And as the Moon actually is a separate section of the Earth that flung off and now circles as a satellite, even the fact that Armstrong, Aldrin, and the others walked on it or drove on it does not mean all that much. As the human race may expand into future colonies on say Mars still having roots on Earth keeps the degrees of separation there, though they will expand to eight, nine, ten, etc.