Saving Precious Treasures
By: Susan Stiegman
(Fredericktown, MO)--Many victims of last week's storms have lost years worth of documents, books and pictures. Oftentimes, the pictures are old, but you would never know by looking at them that last week, they were soaked.
Thanks to photo restoration, one lady in Jackson who lost her home and just about everything in it still feels very blessed. "You can see the pictures are not totally like it was before, but it's still my daughter, and they're saved as far as I'm concerned," says Diane Runnels, a victim of last week's tornado.
Like Diane, most people have dozens of photographs stored in boxes, albums and scrapbooks. The pictures are so plentiful, they're often forgotten...until disaster strikes.
"To lose part of my home and all of my trees is bad. But if I would have lost the 30 years of my children, and all of that, I would have been devastated," says Diane. Not all was lost though.
Diane found the Foundation for Historic Preservation, a Fredericktown organization that should her how to restore her damaged photos. Foundation member Carol Magnus couldn't rid Diane's pictures of all bumps and marks. However, the water marks actually add a little history and tell a story of their own.
Carol offered a few simple and inexpensive steps, to restore them to good condition -- namely dry and not stuck together. "Take the time to take one page after another, and separate them. Allow them to air dry. Lay them on paper towels, or use a fan on low. You can also flatten pages with a hand iron. But that's a specific procedure to go through after it's all dry."
Whether it's pages and pages of pictures, or items as sacred as a bible, ultimately, restoring these treasures means saving an important part of history. "I have pictures from my mother and from her mother. This is my life, and someday, it'll be my daughters," says Diane.