I’ve always thought that Californians are so uninhibited because their grandparents don’t live down the street.
~Martha Murphy
Pass Christian, Mississipp

Since the mid 90s I have been photographing homes that have been occupied by the same families for generations. In them, I have found a wealth of memories -- letters stored in shoeboxes, brittle home movies, dusty trophies, wartime scrapbooks. Like pentimento slowly revealing the artist’s earlier painting, the telltale signs of their heritage can be seen in the fading of the wallpaper and casually displayed mementos. These symbols of everyday life are reminders of a cultural heritage that rarely make it to the moving van.

I found that their stories are as compelling as family artifacts, so I began to make audio recordings — snippets of conversations, recollections and musings, family gatherings and the like — all revealing familial character and quirks, capturing the authenticity of vocabulary that is dying along with the tradition of holding on to the homeplace.

Cuningham Home

Griffith Home

McMurtry Home

Foote Home

Norman Home

Pickett Home

Partlow Home

O'Quinn Home

Smithwick Home

Zedler Home

All Photos and Text ©2005 Laura Pickett Calfee