Nothing pictures. We all have them. Photographs of, well, nothing in particular. Not worth savings because, you know, well, there was nothing of importance in the photograph. Like this one. It would never appear in a book—for good reason—because, well, there was nothing memorable in the snapshot. Then along came the internet. Suddenly these nothing pictures had value. They were worth something. They could be scanned and passed around. I call it “The Gift of the Split-Second.” In a split-second, the real past is revealed, not in sanitized photographs for textbooks. In early April of 1906, my grandfather sat with an unidentified woman near the Grand Canyon. This was a decade before he met my grandmother. He was on his way to San Francisco where he would survive the Great Earthquake and Fire. It is the only picture of my grandfather as a young man. A decade ago, this photograph would have been thrown out. Today it is a family icon! [See my books at]

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