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August 27, 2022 2 min read

You know, the interesting thing about grandparents – and parents even – is that, growing up, you only think of them in relation to yourself. They’re your mom, or yourGranny. It’s not until you grow up that you realize they are a whole individual person, and that they had a whole chunk of life before you came along.

“We lost Granny Eller too young, anyone will tell you that,” Cheryl said. “I knew it back then, to a degree; I was so close to her and she meant so much to me, that sense of loss was so big. But even so, I don’t think it was until I was a little older, really doing life myself, navigating the world and having babies of my own, that I really felt that loss and her absence on a whole other level. I longed for us to be adults together, to be peers in that way, and really get to know the parts of her life that preceded me, or even Dad. That’s been a part of this Scrapbooks journey that’s been both delightful and kind of difficult; discovering these black-and-white images that I know have a significance to them and a story behind them, but not being able to ask about it.”

One of those things is Camp Swift, a military base in Bastrop.

“I didn’t even realize that Granny had worked at Camp Swift,” Cheryl said. “But she had been there for a little while, I believe during WWII. We found these photographs of the facilities, of the dining hall and whatnot, and what’s interesting is that there are these giant murals of Western and rodeo scenes, and when you look at them, they have an aesthetic that’s not far off from the Till Goodan imagery I remember and associate with Granny Eller and my childhood. So you have to wonder if being surrounded by that every day didn’t influence her own design style. It’s not a major revelation, but it feels like placing another small puzzle piece in the overall picture of Eloise.”

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