Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My oldest family picture - What's yours?

Familia Mendez/Solis - 1939
This photograph was taken more than seventy years ago; it is one of my oldest family pictures and I like it especially. It shows my grandparents and their four kids, my father is the one with a broken arm. My grandfather used to run a bar and he also worked as a shoemaker in Adamuz -Cordoba. During the 50s, his three sons and one daughter emigrated, as so many others, to Terrassa -Barcelona- where my two brothers and I were born, as I guess, we could have been born anywhere in the world; for instance, one of my grandfather’s brother moved to the Vasc Country and more recently, part of that family branch settled in Florida, USA. Besides, we also have relatives in Valencia, Madrid, Dos Hermanas, Tenerife, etc… However, as far back as we know, Seville was the stamping ground of a great-grandfather, although originally our last name comes from Galicia.

My wife was born in La Seu d’Urgell (Lleida), her father came from Teruel, and her mother from Soria. This family branch still lives in Aragon and Castille, as well as in Madrid and France. I believe my two kids, Javier and Victor, are a mixture of everybody, everywhere and everything. It’s incredible!

‘1000 Families’ is one of my favorite art books. A compilation of typical family pictures from all over the world in which the German photographer captured with great success the essence of every culture and country. From my modest point of view, it would have been equally interesting to reflect a great deal of that diversity without leaving the boundaries of any European country to show the fact that migratory movements have spread the population across every corner of the planet since the very beginning of time. Take for instance, Spain, it is obvious that the blood flowing through our veins once beat up in the hearts of Iberians, Celts, Greeks, Romans, Germans, Jews and Moors -not to mention Altamira or Atapuerca. 
There is nothing more beautiful than the blending of cultures and races and for that reason, I could not be prouder of my birthplace and origins.

This picture was taken in New Jersey USA around 1905-10. The sitting character is a relative from one of my students, he has to add the story.


  1. Mingo, you said me that this photo is the oldest photo of yor family.
    Who is who?

  2. Mingo, me parece bién que se haga un trabajo sobre la familia, dse deberia hacer más estas actividades.

  3. Ya enviaré la foto más antigua que encuentre de mi familia.