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They won’t tell you this on HGTV - maybe it’s strictly a Southern thing - but nothing in your home will impress guests more than a portrait of a handsome ancestor hanging in a place of prominence.

I admired one of these at a dinner party many years ago. My hostess confessed that she’d commissioned the painting from a Daguerreotype of her great-great grandfather.

I was immediately consumed with envy.

Ever since, I’ve been scouring family photos to find an attractive ancestor in a sea of jug-eared Irish peasants. Just one.

No luck.

Last week, however, I stumbled upon a trove of old photos in the attic. From my mother's side of the family. The men in the pics are boring. The women are not.

Can't decide which ought to hang over the hearth. 


This appears to be my maternal grandmother, Bertha, AKA Blanche Boyston of silent film fame. Yes, she's holding a revolver in her right hand. Maybe this is a movie set. Or maybe she was about to shoot someone. Bertha had a temper.


This defies explanation. Is humidity to blame?


A disturbing number of the photos feature homely women and haystacks. 


No, this is not photoshopped. These two are literally posing in a rose bush. My grandmother on the right.


This appears to be a prison photo. Several of my male relatives were convicts so it makes sense that some of the women were too. On the plus side, cute dress.

 Barbra Streisand Cloned Her Dog. Twice.

Barbra Streisand Cloned Her Dog. Twice.

Farm Fresh In Trouble? Another Supermarket Shake-Up.

Farm Fresh In Trouble? Another Supermarket Shake-Up.