Monday 29 December 2014

Old Pictures

I have been scanning some of the old photos of my mom and dads into the computer. I am being somewhat selective, only scanning pictures with people or places that I recognize. I’m sure I’ll kick myself for not scanning that pick from November 1963 of the grassy knoll in Dallas. I don’t intend to toss the pictures, but I do hope to consolidate them and when I die the kids can have the fun of getting rid of them. Maybe I’ll become famous and they will go to the archive.

It’s funny what stands out when you are looking at old pictures of yourself. There were a few pictures of the Smith’s, who were long time family friends. Generally pictures of laughing kids and adults sitting in the living room at Christmas or some other now forgotten significant event. What stood out to me were the curtains that hung in our living room. They were cream colour with a sketched street scene from some European city. Possibly Paris. They would be quite out of place in todays off white colour palette.

I don’t even remember the kid’s names even though I know we spent quite a bit of time with them. What I do remember is that the youngest son was accidentally killed when he knocked a gun off of the wall. Very, very tragic. The mother never could get over it and I believe that it was an incident that ended the marriage eventually.

Taking pictures back then was kind of special. Each shot cost you money whether it turned out or not, so people were a lot more circumspect when choosing what to take pictures of. They were of events rather than every day occurrences for the most part. Maybe that’s why we like to look at old photos so much; they actually meant something to someone. Today with digital imagery we take thousands of images and more often than not they are pretty mundane. I can’t imagine my kids or grandkids going through my computer files looking for significant pictures that document highlights in my life.

Pictures of my brother and myself were generally taken at Christmas or birthdays. Sometimes in the aftermath of significant snow falls that have us standing on a clean driveway beside a veritable mountain of snow. I remember spending hours shovelling the driveway. Well, the driveway probably took about twenty minutes and the snowball fight with the neighbour kids would have taken the rest of the time. We would be covered in snow, head to toe with smiles that went ear to ear. Okay, Steve would be smiling and I would be smiling on the inside.

There are pictures of houses before the shrubs and trees were planted or fences were erected. They look so impersonal and well, vacant. Eventually the houses develop a lived in look or maybe I just have memories that are from the later years.

I’ve just scratched the surface and it is a monumental job that I will tackle one handful of glossies at a time until I am done. Then, I will move on to our family photos pre-digital cameras. Louise liked to take pictures and she worked for a time at a photo shop so the developing was free. 

God help me!

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