Saturday, June 23, 2018

Creased, folded, photo in hands of memories

Great-Grandma Annie Praul Shive Johnson
A creased and tattered photo--
Held, shown, and stored in a shoe box for decades.
Hard evidence of a life lived
and remembered
Around in a circle on Christmas morning at Grandma's house, that is snapshot where I still see my family, frozen in time.  Photos have a way of capturing the smiles and memories that cannot be stored on a chip, flash drive, disc, cell phone...

A photo brings back sounds of laughter, of dishware placed onto the stretched out table.  Then it would have said the table was a mile long and the browned turkey as big as the sun. Lots of children noises filled the room, children laughter and some tears.  Just a quickly as they started, they stopped when grace was said and dishes filled.


A photo inhales wafting mashed potatoes with gravy cascading down the mountain and onto stuffing.  Creamed, buttered, fragrant, never-ending--amazing food, enough to feed entire towns. 


Then pies.  Queens of homemade pies, that's what Grandma and Mom were. Name any filling and these queens could whirl to place perfect pies, steaming hot, crust golden brown on the table.
  
 Front row: Robert, Bill, and me (with my new doll)
Don, Mary, Dad and Mom Christmas 1959


A photo can be held, placed lovingly an album, where smiles and bright eyes will look at it, talk about that day.  Remember...Mom nearly spilled the gravy...apple pie was...

A photo is taken of people of people frozen in time. "Hold still. Bill, stop it..." Click and wind. Click and wind. Then the roll of film would be put in an envelope, sent off, and returned. Open the envelope. And Christmas is re-lived over and over.


Food and family without end


A photo will travel across decades to find its way into hands of one who calls back that day with all its senses.  One who will caress faces of those long gone, saying, "I know when this happened."
Grandma and Grandpa Cardiff at home

A photo kept safe for decades in a box emerges into my hands. I can still smell the pies and feel the love all around us.

Can one do this with a digital? Can one hold the photo and feel all that?


24 comments:

  1. Years ago photos were taken at special times and special occasions . They were carefully put in books, taken care of, and treasured. During the holidays when we are all together, the albums always come out and we laugh, connect, and relive the best times of our lives.

    Today, pictures are taken constantly and most of them have less meaning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Digital photos can also be deleted. They never find their way to a place of safety, like an album.

      Delete
  2. Yup, I agree. Photos are memories captured in a physical form. (I got a doll for Christmas, '58 or '59 almost exactly like yours!)

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  3. Photos sure hold so much as they turn up and we recall

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  4. And sometimes, you're just glad someone got a photo of the moment because you can't remember it at all...

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  5. 'A photo will travel across decades to find its way into hands ...' Into the hands, to tug on the heart strings.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, they do tug on the heart strings. Feel it often.

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  6. I hope there still are extended families, laughing.

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    Replies
    1. There are, but will the photos reach further than my hands? Will digital photos be shown to my great-grandkids?
      But for now, we enjoy that time thru the photos.

      Delete
  7. Sad to say, probably none of the remembering will happen with my old photos. For many of them, my kids weren't born yet and once they were, we didn't spend much time with the grandparents on either side, so most of the photos won't mean much to anyone once I'm gone.
    Once we all got digital cameras, everyone else has the same photos, all emailed to each other. It just isn't the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iknow, I know. Digital does have so many advantages. But there will not be that line down the family.

      Delete
  8. I cherish the photos my grandmother left behind. I thought they were lost for good, but my mom got them. She will leave them to me. Then I don't know if any generation after will appreciate them, but I sure hope so.

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    1. My own ungrateful wretches won't be interested in them. I am scanning many photos from their childhood, etc., so they will have a digital image, at least. And then, when I die, there will be boxes and boxes of photos that they will have to look through. Revenge is sweet.

      Delete
  9. It's sad in a way that there is no one who cares.

    Coincidentally, I've been going through some old family photos of my own...of my mother, grandmother, my brother, and of great-grand parents etc., etc., et al.

    When I die they will all die with me...be burnt or thrown away in the local rubbish dump. There is no one, other than me, left to care. A family's history gone forever...dust to dust.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is also my regret. That part of family history is done.

      Delete
  10. What's the stat that they keep trotting out? That there are more pictures taken in 2 minutes than were taken in the whole of the 19th Century? Makes us value them less, perhaps.

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    Replies
    1. True, digital photos are taken very casually. In the past era, cameras and film and development was expensive. Photos were taken sparingly, which to me, makes them valuable.

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  11. All those wonderful old photos are a treasure. It is sad when you say no one will want them.

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    Replies
    1. They also are valuable because I know the people in the photos and my parents knew the older ones. Oh, the stories my folks told about those people.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!