Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Pictures



Like most people, I really loved my Grandmother. It didn't hurt that she was the only “grand” that I had of course. My mother's mom and dad had passed before I was old enough to be aware of them and both of the men that Gram was married to passed away. I think that she gave the first one a little push and we all know that things get easier to do after the first.

I don't know anyone that doesn't love their grandmother. Well, some grandmothers are whirling bitches, but generally you don't find that out until you become an adult yourself. Your mom or dad would know, but they rarely say things like that to six year olds. Even the worst grandmothers are good for cookies or over paying for easy jobs they need done around the house. Things like a penny for every fly you kill or fill the match container for a nickel. Yep, never had to work too hard at Gram's for a piece of gum or a candy bar.

I have lots of great memories of my grandmother, but there are very few pictures. I understand why there are no pictures from the earliest part of her life, cameras weren't all over like they were in later years. In fact, it wasn't until the fifties when Kodak made photography affordable to the masses with the Brownie camera that we started to go picture crazy. I actually have the camera that mom and dad used to take the few pictures that I have of Gram. It didn't help that Gram would actually run and hide whenever a camera was pointed in her direction.
I could never understand why she didn't want her picture taken when I was a kid. She was Gram! She could bury stones the size of a Volkswagen by herself, she could paint a house in a weekend and she chased my brother Steve down the street one time with a broom because he picked on me. She was a real life super hero. Super heroes get their pictures taken. Superman had Jimmy Olson, Spider-man had Peter Parker and the other heroes had their lives drawn in comic book form.

Now that I am as old as Gram was when she exhibited this strange behaviour, I am beginning to understand a little of how she felt. It wasn't the chance that her soul would be captured by an enemy if they stole her image, I think it was the fact that the camera just doesn't lie. You can't pay the photographer to take a few years off, or trim twenty pounds from your hips, like you could for a painting. I think Gram didn't like her picture taken because that woman on the glossy 3 X 3 just wasn't her.

Oh, it was accurate enough, in fact it was far too accurate I suspect. She had a picture of herself in her mind that just didn't look at all like the person she saw captured by the camera. Perhaps it was all of the youth that she saw when she walked down the street, at work or when her grandchildren came for a visit. Sometimes watching people live their lives can be exhausting.

I find that I am becoming more and more like Gram. I don't like to have my picture taken. I have convinced myself that having people in a photo, ruins the picture. I try to hold my stomach in (unsuccessfully), I wear dark glasses or turn my head at the last moment and if possible I will stand behind something, anything! I can see a time in the very near future when I will run and hide whenever a camera is pointed in my direction.

You see, the man in the photograph is a lot like the man in the mirror, he sort of looks like a handsome young man that I once knew very well, just sort of swollen and wrinkled.

The eyes are the same...

I'm not at home so I don't have access to some of the pics I would like to use...sorry.

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