Three years ago, Christian Carollo found his grandfather vintage travel photos and his grandma’s travel journal and decided to embark an adventure to recreate them.
Carollo started the project Past Present, in which he roams the United States in search of the exact locations where his grandparents once stood.
On his blog, he showcases the recreated photos along with the extracts of his grandmother’s journal.
Excerpt from my grandmother’s travel journal on April 27, 1979: “The wharf was just getting alive, stores and boutiques opening slowly, like everything else – no hussle. Wax museum, Chinese and other restaurant, seafood in every form, baskets of giant crabs all over.”
During my very first night in San Francisco, I happened to show my grandfather’s photo of a scene at Fishermen’s Grotto in 1979 to a waiter who worked there. He immediately told me that he knew the man in the photo and, in fact, he had just finished working and was sitting at the bar. We met, pointed out things that had changed since 1979, and then had him stand in the same spot for this photo. I’d say the first night was a success!
From Chrisitan’s blog:
Excerpt from my grandmother’s travel journal on April 23rd, 1979: “Groveland – and the Iron Door Bar, 1849. And down towards a big lake ‘New Don Pedro Reservoir’ in steep and sharp curves.”
When I entered the Iron Door Saloon, which happens to be the oldest saloon in California, I came across a man sitting at the bar who told me he was in 11th grade the year my grandfather’s photo was taken. He went on to tell me that he and a few seniors used to park behind the bar and enjoy a few beers inside the bar after school. I believed him. I also had the chance to show the current young owner what his bar looked like in 1979, which he loved. When I offered him a copy of the photograph, his face lit up and he declared “That’s badass!”
Yosemite National Park
Excerpt from my grandmother’s travel journal on April 20th, 1979: “Entering Yosemite National Park at 12:40 – clean and cool air, the smell of pine & redwoods, stopping at several photo spots, going through the long long tunnel, into the valley itself.”
Christian and His Grandpa
Check out his Tumblr blog and facebook page to follow his adventure.
All photos by Christian Carollo,