Cousins re-connect with Google

What a fabulous electronic new age we live in.

Columnist Norman Silverstone (can you guess which one he is?) poses with his cousin in Montreal

What a fabulous electronic new age we live in. Last month I came home to find a message on the phone that said “ Hi Norman, this is your cousin calling”.

He and I grew up together in Montreal, we are both the same age, we lived downstairs in a duplex and my aunt, uncle and cousin all lived upstairs. My cousin and I bicycled every where together, we drank pop from the local Texaco Station, played cops and robbers together and did all the things that children did in those days of zero electronics.

At some point my Dad got a bee in his bonnet about the relatives interfering in his life (my mother had died) and forbid me to play with my cousin. We found a way around that. We would go down to our respective basements, knock our special knock and I would swing the little door that covered the peephole aside and we would talk.

When I was 13 years old my father moved us to the South Shore, far away from Montreal.

My cousin and I re-connected when I was 19 and came back to Montreal live with my Aunt.

We double-dated, dropped the girls off after the date and then he and I would go for Chinese food. I asked my cousin why we never offered the girls Chinese food. He said “ Why should we “?

Both male virgins got married at 22 years old. There the tale ends…he went on to be respectable, I went on to be a sort-of hippy photographer.

That is, until my cousin’s  iPad searches with Google turned up my web page and information. He did phone back and we just chatted forever. ….et voila, now we e-mail constantly.

Since I am going to Montreal in August for my nieces wedding, I will stay the week with my cousin in his condo.

I have gone back to 1960 in my photo/slide collection and found shots of my cousin, his grandparents, his parents, me at 19 years old, the two of us with our arms around each other at about eight years old. I scanned the negs and the slides at 1200 DPI ( so that I would be able to blow up the image and not have it get pixelated) in TIFF format (so that I would be able to edit in a non-lossy format). Then I Photoshopped as well as I could. Most of the negatives are very old and scratched, some have fog, etc.

Next I blew each one up to about a 5×7-inch and printed it on double weight tru-matte paper on my Archival Epson printer. They look wonderful and they will last for well beyond 100 years. Another month and a bit and the photos will be in my cousin’s hands.

Any questions? E-mail me at or go online to


Norman Silverstone teaches photography through North Island College and ElderCollege in Port Alberni.

Just Posted

Alberni’s Reconciliation Committee hosts community forum

The community event will take place on the anniversary of Walk for Reconciliation

Port Alberni’s breakfast program receives community support

The Read and Feed program runs on donations, grants and fundraising

Cherry Creek Shootout is a family affair

Alberni Men’s Club opens on Sunday

Kinder Morgan protest planned for Port Alberni

Protest is part of a nationwide movement on Friday, March 23

Get emergency prepared with workshop at Capitol Theatre

Emergency preparedness workshop will take place on Friday, Mar. 23

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Canadian women move to No. 4 in FIFA world rankings

Canadian women match all-time high, move back to No. 4 in FIFA world rankings

Supreme Court rules former Stephen Harper aide guilty of influence peddling

A one-time senior aide to former prime minister Stephen Harper has been found guilty of influence peddling by Canada’s highest court.

Annual inflation rate rises to 2.2% for its fastest pace since fall 2014

Statistics Canada says the consumer price index in February was up 2.2 per cent compared with a year ago

B.C. drug smuggler pleads guilty in U.S. court

Shuswap man admits to using helicopters to transport marijuana and cocaine across the border

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Most Read