Sunday, June 25, 2017


Today folks take photos with their cell phones and I suspect most of them are random in nature and content. Back when I was a young girl, photos were a deliberate record of life. Because my mother was an avid photographer with her Kodak brownie I am blessed with quite a few photos from my childhood.

Every photo I have was posed.

That's right. Every photo.

And all of them tell a secondary story beside the original pose. They're a record of living conditions, fashion, life style, family. Heh, the photo above tells a story about my brothers and me that was true back then and is still true now sixty years later. Out there on the right side, my brother Jack is just plain disgusted with the entire process. He'd rather be doing something else. Next to him, Tom is wishing my mother had picked somewhere shady to take the picture. Next to me, Danny thinks this is all a lot of fun. And me? I'm trying to be a lady while sitting on a low stone step surrounded by a gritty, dirt yard.

I have vivid memories of this house. It was a small shotgun house (which simply means there was no internal hallway). You walked through all the rooms to get to the back of the house--and that was only three rooms total. At a later date, quite a while after the house was built, another room was added on to the side. That was the room I shared with my brothers. My parents slept in the center room (dining room). Since I had to share the side room with my brothers, my parents let me pick the color for the walls. I chose turquoise. Bright, deep turquoise like the chunks of turquoise my father brought home from the copper mine where he worked. They were rejected by-product from the mine operations.

When we went back to this town many years later, my father drove around showing us different places we lived and he stopped outside this house. The lady that lived there came outside to see what we wanted and dad explained we had lived there once. In the ensuing conversation she mentioned the difficulty of covering that turquoise I suppose you could say that was a legacy I left behind when we moved on.

This photo calls all these memories up like a swarm of butterflies, so many colors and shapes. I recall things I haven't thought about in years. That is what a photo should do. They call them memories for a reason.

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