Pre-Intermediate Listening Practice

Images From The Past - Transcript

Three people talk about and describe old photos.

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This photo is very old, I think it's from about 1910 and it looks very yellow. The man at the back, the first one on the left, is my grandfather. His two brothers are Charles and William. William is the one with the open jacket. My grandfather's sister is called Violet. My grandfather was about 22 when this photo was taken. They were outside the family home in Chicago. Two years after this photo, my grandfather got married to a friend of Violet and my father was born about ten years after this photo. My grandfather worked for 27 years in a cinema about three blocks from this house. He started selling chocolate bars and soda drinks to people watching silent movies and finished as the manager. He was an incredible man.


The girl in this photo is my mother, she was only one year old at the time, maybe a little more. The woman with her isn't her mother, but her mother's sister, Matilda. Matilda never had any children, she never got married, but she was always very close to my mother and they're together in many pictures. A lot of people think she is my mother's mother. The photo was taken in the 1930s in California, where Matilda lived. California in the 1930s was all country and fields, you can see the woods in the background. It was near Hollywood. I went there to that house when I was very young, I remember it, now it's just another suburb of another city. My brother still has that old car, he loves vintage cars and cleans it every month. I think this is my favorite photo of my mother when she was a child. It's from another world.


It's incredible, but the little girl at the front of this photo is my grandmother. Look at her! She was only five years old in this picture and she still remembers the day it was taken. It was September 1914 and her two uncles, Peter and Lionel, were going to France in the war. They wanted to take a picture. The two women in the middle were Peter's wife and Lionel's girlfriend. They look very sad, you can understand why. The woman at the back worked in my mother's house and the man wearing the dark clothes with a cap was a driver or something like that. My mother knows the full story. If you look very closely, you can see that my grandmother has a tiny handbag in her hand. She was like that, she was a little woman even when she was five years old. She loved her uncles very much and even now, she says things like "my uncle Peter loved cheese". Peter died in the war sadly, but Lionel came back and became an actor in the theatre. My grandmother got married when she was 17 and had seven children.

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