Creating A Mantlepiece for the World
By Elizabeth McAvoy
PhotoPoint Community Writer
Just One Second" ©2000 Nai-Chi Lee
Dallas Masters still has the brown art box, given to her just days after her mother died ten years ago, which may contain the secret of her three lost brothers' whereabouts.
For inside the box, among the assorted art supplies, Dallas uncovered a handful of sepia photos freckled with mostly-anonymous faces and inscribed with dates and names.
Three of the faces should be familiar. They are the faces of her brothers -- Steve, Ricky and Alan -- who her mother gave away when they were very young. If they are still alive, they are in their fifties. Two are younger than Dallas, one is older.
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Earlier this year, Dallas put the photos up on PhotoPoint with the hope that someone, somewhere, would recognize a face or a name and she would be reunited with her brothers.
"I thought… With all the folks getting online now, someone may see someone they remember," she said.
To be sure, millions of people visit PhotoPoint every day and many of them browse through the galleries, where they happen upon albums like Dallas's.
Behind every album, there are hundreds of stories. People add their albums to public galleries for several reasons. Perhaps some, like Dallas, are looking for lost relatives. Others want feedback on their albums. Most just enjoy sharing their experiences with others.
Ernie Tiemann, a professor for the University of Maryland European Division, initially posted the photos for his friends and family. He said he now enjoys sharing them with a broader audience.
"I have traveled to some interesting places and perhaps someone with a curiosity in the places I have been might benefit from seeing what I have produced," Tiemann said.