In the summer of 2017, I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh, Scotland, where my grandfather Hugh Simmers worked as a projectionist from 1916 to 1917, before he emigrated to the United States. Originally called the King Cinema, it’s the oldest continuously operated movie theater in Scotland, dating back to […]
My mother left behind a faded picture of her grandparents’ headstone with a note on the back, “North Merchistan Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland.” I could barely make out the names on the headstone, Hugh Simmers and Marion Murray. But it was impossible to read their dates of birth and death, which of course would be vital […]
Anne Oxley of Vermont earlier this year bought a bunch of sterling silver at an auction, thinking she’d sell it for scrap. Thankfully, she noticed that one bracelet had the name “Hugh Simmers” inscribed on the front. On the back another inscription read, “Good Luck From Kings Cinema Staff, Edinburgh. 10-10-17.” “I have always wanted […]
The project started out innocently enough. I merely wanted to confirm some of the often bizarre stories my parents and grandparents had told me at family events, typically after a few drinks.
When her husband died unexpectedly in 1949, Mabel Simmers was forced to take over the family business — Mt. Vernon N.Y.-based County Refrigeration Services, Inc. It was rough going at first, Mabel used to tell her grandchildren. The unions that supplied her labor struck because they didn’t like the idea of reporting to a female […]
This is, without question, one of the greatest family pictures of all time. I never got to meet my grandfather, Hugh Simmers, Jr. He died when my mother was 16. But I’m sure I would have really enjoyed his company. In addition to having a penchant for photography, he must have had a good sense of humor. And he certainly knew […]