Remembering the people time forgets
Jeff Plost never knew his grandfather. Passing away at just 54, 6-year-old Jeff was left to wonder about who his grandfather had been. Jeff began to explore his grandfather’s diaries, eager to know one stolen away too young: “My memories of him were pretty limited, so I got to know my grandpa through his war diaries instead.”
It was through those diaries that Jeff first became interested in the past, captivated by a time forgotten and his desire to know his grandfather. This captivation sent him to Europe, eager to discover the remnants of history his grandfather experienced. For Jeff, these places could remind him of a person time forgot.
Strolling the cobblestone streets of Bamburg, Germany one afternoon, snapping tourist photos and eating gelato, Jeff noticed that one stone was not like the others. Upon closer inspection, he discovered a small, inscribed copper gravestone, marking the death of a prisoner of war, right there in that very street. “So I took a picture and I was just standing there and I just started imagining that 70 years ago in this very spot was a completely different experience for everybody.”
From this moment, Jeff began searching for old photographs, a way to tie the old with the new.
Jeff began what he calls “PlostModern,” a photographic journal that blends old photos with modern ones, allowing viewers to imagine the lives of those who walked this way before.
“Photography really allows people to draw closer to history because there it is, captured.” The ability to capture these moments in time is a gift, a frozen snapshot of the place and the people who brought us to where we are today.
Next time you visit a place, take a moment to draw closer to the people who walked these paths before us, to know even just a piece of those who once owned and shaped the places—and future—that we love.