Over time, people mailed in more photos.
“Some were sent to us from Missouri and Arkansas,” Madory said. “We have several thousand photos collected. There are boxes and boxes and boxes,” she said.
Then the cleaning process began. Pictures were dried and cleaned as good as possible. They were catalogued, photographed and uploaded to a website for people to look for the pictures online.
On Saturday, the group had thousands of pictures ready to view: photos of newborns, wedding pictures, vacation snapshots, Glamour Shots and party pics. There was a service photo of a World War II veteran and an oversized portrait of a grandmother with an infant on her lap and a young girl by her side.
In an era where most people have their photo data living in cyberspace, it may be hard to imagine that paper copies of photos are so valuable, but many of the photos found were very old or clearly one-of-a-kind.
“These are pictures that may have never had a digital copy made,” Madory said.
While there were countless pictures displayed, the selection was only the tip of the iceberg.
“We have only one-third of the photos ready,” Madory explained.
As volunteers finish cleaning photos, more reunion events are planned.
Until then, more work is ahead and more volunteers are needed to clean the photos.
Those interested in helping clean the pictures can contact the Oklahoma School of Photography at 2306 North Moore Avenue in Moore, or call 405-799-1411.
“It’s very rewarding,” Madory said. “These are their memories they thought they would never see again.”
People whose homes or storage units were destroyed by the tornado are encouraged to attend future reunion events or search for photos on candid.com/tornado.
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