Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Keepsakes No More

No, this isn't Flashback Friday.  Remember I went to a bizarre oddities and antique shop a few weeks ago?  You mean you weren't paying attention?  Anyway while there I purchased these photos they had in a stack next to the cash register for a few pennies.  I wondered at the time how these family photos made it all the way to a strange little shop in Largo, Florida.   I don't know the answer to that but as we look at these little moments in time a certain sadness must surely creep into a viewing pleasure.  I'll explain a bit later.  Until then let's take a look at what I bought and why. 

The most obvious explanation for this picture is it represents heartland America.  What is more Midwest/Illinois/Seaton than a small herd of cows, a shed and corn?  Since I am firmly in the Northlandia nostalgia business these days stuck in Southlandia, these cows and that corn represent a different time - maybe even my days working for Uncle Ed.  Delving further, however, I wonder what motivated the picture taker to one day say I'm taking a picture of Ole Bessie and the gang?  Was it the owner?  A family member?  An insurance agent?  Sadly, we'll never know.   

"Pa and Laurence on the rocky coast of Maine 1949".  That was the only writing on any of my pictures.  So, Pa and Laurence took a trip to Maine.  One can only imagine all the circumstances around this picture.  Who are they?  Father - son?  Father-in-law, son-in-law?  Again, not to belabor the point, but almost any scenario begins and ends with questions.  The fascinating thing, too, is that you can apply anything you want to it.  Make up your own story - imagination fills in the empty blanks.   

The next three pictures, I believe, came from the same album.  This kid is featured in all three pictures - a proud parent taking a remembrance of their daughter with the family pooch.  Classic.  Universal.  These pictures aren't so cryptic.  

Once again out little girl is doting on the dog.  Did the dog get up on the box himself or was he placed there by Dad?  The next best thing besides a boy and his dog is a girl and her dog.  How did this picture that should be safe in a family album somewhere become antique store fodder?  What happened?  Isn't there usually someone who takes over custody of family treasures even if a distant relative?   


Is this the same girl?  I am assuming so.  It is the same stock as the others.  Is this Daddy?  Perhaps on the 4th of July?  She is wearing heavier clothes than one would expect on a mid-summer holiday.  Immigrants who just became citizens?  He certainly looks rather stern for a joyous occasion.  Who knows?

And finally a boat ride along a rocky coast.  Maine?  Pa and Laurence?  Probably not.  I liked the view of this and could picture myself enjoying the ride and the scenery.  The boat is gleaming and you can see the reflected shore in the chrome air intakes.  A British flag?  Perhaps Canadian?  The Royal Union flag still remains the official flag of Canada even though they adopted the Maple Leaf flag in 1965.  See, you even got educamated.  What a wonderful blog this is.   

There's no good way to end this post other than to relish the glimpse of folks long gone doing their thing a long time ago.  I guess one should make arrangements for the precious family albums so they don't end up in stranger's hands and to document as best as one can with digital photography.  How does one do that?  I don't know.  Maybe a simple small notebook and a numbering system.  Your generations to follow in the family will be grateful.  I hope.  

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