Welcome to DodoPix!

Beatty tries on a new flower...

  1. DodoPixVol1: McNary, Rex, Hamilton, Bly families; WJBlyJr, JaneRex: child —> young adult (take a brief tour
  2. DodoPixVol2: And So They Were Married, War Years (WJBlyJr overseas, WWII)
  3. DodoPixVol3: Jane — War Years (unfinished)


These images come from a remarkable three-album collection created by my father, William James Bly Jr, beginning right after his retirement in 1980 and continuing until he became too disabled by Binswanger's Disease to continue, in 1986 or 1987. It represents his best arrangement of photos and documents inherited from his and my mother's relatives (the earliest dating from the 1860s), which to my knowledge were scattered about our house at 104 Fairway Road in McMurray PA in drawers, boxes, bags, envelopes, and older albums.

His organizing principle was roughly chronological, and he grouped photos by family, beginning with the generation of his and my mother's grandparents — McNary and Rex on my mother's side, Hamilton and Bly on my father's side. In the next — i.e., their parents' — generation, more photographs were available, so each of my grandparents gets at least a page of h/er own. My grandfather William James Bly Sr (Pop Bly) seems to have been a something of a shutterbug (and his son was an only child), so there are numerous pictures of my father as a baby, child, and young man. However, my mother's infancy, childhood, and youth are fairly represented as well.

I began this digital archive of the three albums 22-28 June 2004, during a week in Nyack-on-the-Hudson NY, house-sitting for my daughter Nelly (Elinor Whiteley Bly) and her husband Mike (Michael Arougheti). I was attended by their faithful dog Beatty, whose patient comradeship made the days delightful as well as productive, and afforded a perspective on the enterprise that no human companion can provide.

In digitizing, I scanned entire pages, because I wanted to preserve not only the images my father collected here, but also his work in collecting and arranging them just this way — a Herculean but also Apollonian task. His categorization scheme works wonderfully for a photo album to be leafed through, but a digital archive requires additional apparatus to enable searching and other operations. Here is a partial key to such devices, as applied to filenames:

As in life, where we make up the rules as we go along, these tags may not have been applied with absolute consistency.

Finally, there are two items I didn't scan: letters to my maternal grandmother Florence Rex praising her "appearance" on the radio in 1926 (027a-b) and my father's notes concerning the death of his maternal uncle Stan Hamilton in 1959 (see tourDodoPixVol1/t047HamiltonFamily-c1920.jpg). In each case the digitizing process would have been too complicated and time-consuming for the time I had available to me, and so I merely scanned the top layer of these hypertextual objects. I hope at a later date to remedy this shortcoming.

BTW, "Dodo" was Nelly's baby-name for her paternal grandfather, the source of all this marvelous data.

Bill Bly (William James Bly III)
29 June 2004