Word and Image

Family

Revenge of the …

2303 28 Julia David car wash

Did you ever want to get even? I laugh now as I came across this in my edit. Washing the car in late spring is still fraught with cool temperature and cold water. Gotcha! I daresay Dave was none too pleased. His sister soaked him. Premeditated? Was there a chapter 2 in which Jules gets/got soaked? Who knows? All I can see is a poor defenseless brother “getting it” from big sister. Hey! I took the picture. I wasn’t getting in the middle. My camera would get wet. If you are not smiling by now, I don’t know what can tickle you.

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Great grandmas

1082 29 Lisa Julia Elsa Mary

I have no recollection of my grandparents. I never met them. Unfortunate for me. My kids were in pictures with their great grandmas and do remember their grandmother. My mom had passed away before my kids were born. It’s all complicated with/about who knew who or who met who. Meanwhile, this picture is three generational of women. Well it would have been four generations with one more (Lila, grandma to Jules). But you can see from this side of the family that there were no boys. David was called/referred to as “the boy” whenever anyone on that side asked. It was otherwise all girls. On my side it was all boys so David was right at home there. This photo from way back had the great grandmas of the family at that time. It has considerable nostalgic meaning now.


Steinway

2469 15 Julia

We got a $29,000 Steinway baby grand when the kids took lessons. We later sold it? It left the house and never returned. Where what its fate was? I never (afraid) to ask. I can tell you that the Happy Farmer sounded better on it. Nuts! Absolutely nuts. But we were never extravagant spenders. Huh? At least I never went out and got a Porsche. Maybe I should have. Bottom line: both kids quit. I might still have that Porsche. Well, I never did and I don’t have one now. I have better pictures of the piano. Why? It’s better I don’t see it to remember that we got it and it played piano lessons for a time.

Oh! High end? Nope. There are $300k++ pianos selling out there in the world. I’m glad my kids were not better piano players.


Portrait of the artist

2451 23 Victor

I don’t consider myself an artist. I make images now. But it is more of a technical exercise with problems to solve. You solve the problem. You have the answer. The right answer gives you a 100 on the test. You get an A. Not so fast. There’s more than just pressing the shutter button. Lots of mundane ordinary photos are taken. Famous painters – Rembrandt, Da Vinci – painted themselves in self-portraits. We presume Da Vinci was left handed among other reasons because he did a painting showing his right hand. Clever! I’m a left hander in a right-hand world. I learned to operate right-handed and then adapted. I cut with scissors from the right and from the left. It’s no big deal. But if you are right handed I deem it a lot more difficult for you than me.  Ha ha. I go both ways. I have talent, but I’m still not an artist.


Break my heart

Falling down laughing. There’s another generation of young ones learning to spell creatively. Reading and writing is fascinating. I hated to read. My mother had tasked me with reading “The Poky Little Puppy” aloud, over and over. I suppose I should have memorized it. It would have gone faster. And I was good at memorizing things. Nonetheless, it seems to be history that repeats as kids try their hand at spelling in their early writing compositions. Jules was certainly that way. I took pictures of everything. Yet, this was one of the only samples I came across as I scanned. As I translated… it can break your heart. What can I say? Just read it and feel the innocence in her emotional plea. I presume it was directed at me? No matter. It’s a universal thought. I would hug you again if you were here now.


Halloween

We’re at the national meeting circa 1983– AANS. This is as conservative a group as you’d ever wanna not meet up with. Very! Trust me! They’d vote republican as long as the candidate has a heartbeat and then maybe without the “beat” if they could. We’re newly minted neurosurgeons just out of residency – Henry and I. Neurosurgeons and their spouses showed up in elaborate costumes such as full regale colonial wear. What to do? We hadn’t a clue. This was nearly our first rodeo. Ah! Brilliant! Henry and I went to the nearest men’s room in the lobby. Voila! Arthur Day a conservative from Florida tried to stop us at the entrance. We were streakers. It’s legal. And! We had a ticket. Damn, if he didn’t mutter while he let us in. I never did cotton up to the powers that be in our national leadership. There are some liberals too. We span the spectrum. However, there is definitely a hard core of conservatives who speak for our organization. Not me. They don’t speak for me and I don’t have my opinion counted among them. We’re all just fine that way.


Trio

In the interest of fairness, I’m including the immediate family in 1975. My dad had died about a year earlier. Brothers John and Eric, and my Mom were in Disney World. Yes, me too. I don’t have any black and whites to follow. I started (photography) at the World’s Fair in 1966. Nope, none of those are around. Eric my have them in a drawer somewhere in Mom’s house. Perhaps that is why I so assiduously documented my kids’ childhood. At a certain point the task is too large to have photographed everything. And to store everything? It got way out of hand when the kids started taking their own pictures. For now, this trio is from the first roll of slides I kept, stored, and digitized.

“Preserve your memories” – Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel.

My only curiosity is – who will keep the numerous drawers with all those slides after me. The digital will be on multiple hard drives. Great! But I already have trouble keeping track of those.


A Cappers

A Capper

I have mentioned the A Cappers? It was a folk dance group we participated in during our lunch hours from 4th to 6th grade. Mrs. Cappadoni (get it? A Cappers?) was the advisor/teacher. This is the group. There is a lot of history here. Smart kids. Girls are here who have played a major part of my life. Anne my next door neighbor, she was gone into the wind, moved to Ohio, and lost after she was married. I tracked her down many decades later to be crushed by her lack of interest in connecting again. Beverly was my partner. Funny, in three years as partners, I do not recall a single conversation of substance between us. Colleen, she had her mom contact my mom and we had a “playdate” at eight years old. There’s forward thinking, before the term was invented. Yup, history played out in a very funny way. I haven’t been back to really see anyone since I left in 8th grade. Maybe someday… well, except!!


Golden Horseshoe

Gloden horseshoe

Speaking of the Golden Horseshoe, I won the award. It is given out for the four highest scores on an exam per county in West Virginia. The exam is on all things WV. Chip Hilton – Claire Bee books. Yup, I read them, so I got the question right. I had a clue I had done well on the test while walking home with and being questioned by Anne. I had gotten a lot of trivia/trivial questions right.

I remember reading a red book to learn about all things good and wonderful about the state. It must have stuck. I was a winner. And the prize? A golden horseshoe pin and a trip to Charleston, the capital. Here I am the token minority standing next to the secretary of education. It always stuck with me that I was hustled to the front to stand with him. It wasn’t an honor. It was a photo op and political. Years later I get that. It’s no big deal. But on some level even and eighth grader gets it. I just didn’t process the event till much later. At least we were not dependent upon an Argus C3 to capture the moment.


Graduation

3070 37 David graduation

This is the last slide I shot. My memory is/was correct. June,2004, I bit the bullet and got my first DSLR digital, the Nikon D70. The price was finally within reach of my budget. Early digital DSLR cameras exceeded $1000 considerably. David graduated and this last shot on the last roll of film is it.

After that the rest is history. Ha ha. I went digital. It was too seductive. No more home processing. I’d stopped that a while before. (I had a neighbor – since moved – who hated the running water in my darkroom at 3AM. Gee! I wonder why?) No more need for storage space. Too funny. I’d just built a cabinet of 28 drawers with excess capacity to store future slides. I had photo paper, chemicals, and film. Slide film would remain stored in the freezer for more than a decade (till I threw it out).

Yes, it was that abrupt. I have gone through a series of camera upgrades. David taught me that the Canon Power Shot series was excellent for detail. Currently my kids primarily use their iPhone as their image maker/saver.

Yes, indeed, David graduated on this day way back then. I just now put it together that we both graduated on that day. I estimate I shot 113,600 slides since 1975. By my count I have shot more than 367,000 digital images since 2004. That would be double the number in half the time. I’ve gotten exponentially better as I honed my craft through trial and error. There are about the same proportion of “keepers” and disappointments. I have immediate feedback but am often in too much of a hurry to check immediately. I shoot frequently in a fast-moving platform (our car). I shoot the same subjects (but better, I hope). I still shoot fewer people (shy). I could never have been proficient nor shot the fish in the Red Sea without digital.

Of all the things I do/did, I’m still learning photography after graduation.