Friday, August 22, 2008
Leif & His Dad Looking at a Photo Album, Dec. 1975
This is a photo that reminds me of what I'm doing now, looking at photos and choosing one to post and comment on. Our family has always loved photos. We all take pictures, many, many of them. My mother-in-law once asked me what I was going to do with all those photos. I found the question incomprensible. How glad I am that I have all these photos of Leif now.
This picture was taken when Leif was 11 months old, on a morning when his dad wasn't dressed or shaved yet. They were looking at a photo album together and Peter W. is wearing a bathrobe I made for him. I did a lot of sewing in those days, days when you could still save money by making your own clothes. I saw them having a good time together and grabbed my camera.
So many people still only think of taking photos on special occasions, but I like documenting everyday life. There are still many photos I wish I had taken that I somethow missed.
Even as a small child Leif had an incredible memory, for all kinds of things, and visual and auditory memories were acute. He loved looking at pictures and although he didn't, at that age, have a way to communicate this to us, I think he actually studied them.
I made photo albums for each of my sons, with the best photos of their childhoods. I've given Peter A. his, though I doubt he or his family look at them. He and his family are products of the computer age, and unless the photos are digitized, I doubt they'll see the light of day much . . . though with so many digital photos, those photos from years gone by probably would't be looked at much anyway.
Sadly, I never gave Leif his album. I still have it. The reason I didn't give it to him was that once he grew up, he no longer showed an interest in photos from his childhood. He wasn't good at taking care of things, other than his computers, gadgets and guns, and seeing how he lived and what happened to things, I thought it would mst likely end up junked in a box, damp and moldy, or wrecked. I had put in too much time and expense in making the album to let that happen.
I kept it, thinking that if he ever got married again and had a family, that would be the time to give it to him. Now I have no one to give it to. Sadly, there is no one to pass it on to, along with his writings, his school records, his military awards, his uniform. I can keep and treasure them for now, but someday, where will they go?
I used to wonder about the old family photos from the 19th century that you see in antique shops, why the family didn't keep them. Now I know at least one reason. Maybe there was no one left who knew the people in those photos, no one who wanted them any more.