34 Random Photos In Honor of Robert Grant’s 99th Birthday
Late Grand Junction, Colorado photographer Robert Grant would have celebrated his 99th birthday this Friday, May 27, 2022. In honor of his special day, here are 34 Robert Grant photos, all from Western Colorado, selected completely at random.
Robert Grant passed away in November of 2000. Since then, my family has attempted to catalog and share his personal photos. These are photos that, shall we say, didn't make the cut. In other words, most have never been seen until now.
Who Was Grand Junction Photographer Robert Grant?
From the late 1930s to the mid-1980s, Robert Grant, or simply Bob, was the photographer at the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. He took a four-year hiatus from the Daily Sentinel from 1941 to 1945 to serve in the United States Army during World War II. In addition to serving as a soldier, Bob also photographed for the Army and worked with a group of cartographers in India and China (and for a little while Australia.)
Bob Grant's Personal Life
As a child, Bob contracted a childhood disease leaving him with severely compromised eyesight. From his time as a little boy until his death, he wore Coke-bottle glasses with the thickest lenses you could imagine.
Eventually, he landed a job with the Daily Sentinel as an engraver. Ultimately, before leaving for World War II, he worked his way up to the photographer. Upon being discharged from the Army he came straight back to Grand Junction and went back to work at the Sentinel the very next day.
Celebrating His 99th Birthday
I have been thinking about my grandpa, Bob Grant, quite a bit lately as we approach what would have been his 99th birthday. With that, I went to my basement last night and grabbed about 100 prints out of drawer #2 of his old file cabinet. Out of those 100 or so prints, I filtered it down to 34 images. Those prints are featured here.
The images below are among those that "didn't make the cut." That's my way of describing prints that didn't make the Daily Sentinel, his calendars or failed to find their way to being seen by the public. Many of these are prints I picked up off the floor in his darkroom sometime back in the early 1970s. Bob was unbelievably frugal, and as a result, never wasted anything. He may have saved some of these simply because he couldn't bring himself to throw them away.
Take a Close Look, and Then... Look Closer
With that, it is safe to say no one has laid eyes on these images until now. My grandpa used to say to me, "When taking a photo, get in close. Then, just after you get in close, get in closer." He was a newsman to the core and had no interest in filters or overuse of lenses.
Look closely at the images below. Like always with Robert Grant photos, keep an eye out for someone you recognize. Always keep a sharp eye out for local landmarks. More than anything, look for the not-so-obvious elements of these photos. The devil is in the details. Each shot features content that may not be obvious at first.
In the 22 years since Bob Grant died, my family has been busy trying to preserve his prints. Most of what we inherited was in the form of negatives. Those have been digitized and will be shared later. The various posts I've done similar to this have involved prints. Most of these have now been digitized, but there's still a way to go.