One of the joys of blogging is, undoubtedly, the community spirit it generates. Add to that, personal development, shared creativity and serendipity, and you have a recipe for something we have all come to appreciate as being very special.
From time to time, I'll get an email out of the blue - assuming cyberspace is blue - from a complete stranger. It's usually someone responding to my open invitation to get in touch personally, rather than leave a comment, publicly. But yesterday, I was contacted, after a Google search, by Stephanie Rich. In her message she says, "Square Sunshine is a wonderful site - I came upon it by googling best grandparent sites and finding a list of them actually. Then kind of handpicked the ones I thought were interesting!" Flattery will get you everywhere, I thought. Then, Stephanie went on to tell me about a book she has written, and I have to say, I was hooked from the moment she mentioned her Grandfather. This is how she describes her wonderful project.
A Followed Path: Travels with My Grandfather, documents the summer of 2009, when Stephanie re-traced a European trip that her grandfather, Leo H. Rich (a New York native) took back in 1931. Stephanie carefully recreated more than 150 of Leo’s photographs and her results are showcased next to his original pictures throughout the book.
A Followed Path showcases the original and retaken photos side by side. It focuses on their photography, but also details what it was like for a young woman to travel through the eyes of a grandfather she never had the chance to meet. Leo's world came alive to his granddaughter as she traveled in his footsteps throughout Europe. Alongside more than 350 full colour photographs are the stories of the challenges, people and adventures Stephanie encountered while trying to find these often unlabelled locations. Through Leo's letters and photographs, and her own historical research, she describes what the Europe of Leo’s experience was like and how it has changed in 78 years.
Stephanie Rich was born in 1983, seventeen years after the death of her grandfather Leo. She grew up in Minneapolis and studied at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. After spending several years as a film sales agent in Los Angeles, Stephanie is now reading for her MBA at the University of Cambridge in England.