Stalled by Faded Photographs


Me, my brother, and my sister. Small-kid time. Summer suntans, my favorite dress with the bell sleeves. Circa '66. Yes, I have had this hair my entire life.

I found myself lingering over old photographs while sifting through life’s artifacts this past weekend. Photographs are relatively small and flat, but they convey the big feelings you might have experienced when they were taken. You remember the circumstances, the temperature, the smells. In this particular shot, I remember suntan lotion, chlorine, and Mr. Bubble bubble bath.

A lot of small-kid time pix bring back great memories of being on swim team, down the shore, in parades. There are sunburned cousins in group shots, high school band trips, young parents smiling from the 1960s. I have photos from when I was in the USAF in Texas, California, and Hawaii; from learning to surf, going hiking, and from the early days with John.

On the dunes in Surf City, Long Beach Island, N.J.; circa '70.

Now that there is digital photography, the only pictures we get in the house any more are annual class pictures. I suspect eventually they’ll give way to virtual images and there will be no dusty photographs to distract one from purging life’s artifacts.