Friday, October 4, 2013

Damaged Goods ~~ A "Sepia Saturday" Post


This week's Sepia Saturday theme deals with the less-than-perfect photos that we've all taken at one time or another. For me, those would probably be many images taken when I was in high school, briefly studying photography when I was a member of my school's Audio-Visual Club.

Unfortunately, I destroyed the “evidence” years ago.

My mom's side of the family had a minor love affair going on with the camera, but if there were any shots which were inadequate in any major way – and I'm sure there were – they were thrown out like my own poor attempts years later.

Therefore, I've decided to focus – the pun is unavoidable – on a few photographs which survived, although severely damaged.



1. This jigsaw puzzle masquerading as a photograph actually shows myself and my kindergarten classmates in the Fall of 1961. (And luckily for me, I have a black & white 8” x 10” of the same image.) Where am I, you may well ask, since there's no one there dressed in black, nor wearing a beard? Heh. I'm the second on the left in the front row... the one whose attention is focused elsewhere. Believe it or not, 50+ years later, I can still name most of the children in that photo. And if any of you are wondering – and I know some of you are – out of the seven girls in my class, I had crushes on three of them.

2. I used this next photo in a much older Sepia Saturday post. I'm repeating it with my original description attached and only slightly edited..

The following shot is one I couldn't even begin to restore. Surprisingly enough, the first time I ever saw it was at my mother's apartment, only a few years ago. Quite frankly, it's trashed... yet it's obvious why my mother saved it, preserved from further damage in a little Ziploc bag along with a piece of cardboard to keep it from bending.


It's a picture of my mom's sister Josie, lovingly holding her fifteen-years-younger sibling, my mother Anita. (It's also one of the few early shots of my mom actually smiling, rather than grimacing due to -- I assume -- the era's annoying necessity of the photo's subject(s) having to stare into the blinding sun whenever photographs were taken!) What's left of the caption hand-written in ink on the lower border reads "Sisters" and "April." (Although a lot of these little notations have faded into illegibility over the years, I remain grateful to my mother and whoever else supplied these bits of written information on the various early family photos. It's helped me a lot in terms of names and dates, obviously.)

Going through literally hundreds of photos as I began this task of posting my family's history, I was frustrated at the missing lower right-hand corner of this photo, however. "April of what year?" I wondered. I estimated it as being between 1921 and 1923. But luck was with me. In with a separate group of photos, I found one of Aunt Josie, standing alone on the very same steps, in the very same outfit, plainly labeled "April, 1922." So my mom was four-and-a-half years old, making this the second-oldest photo of her that I have! 

And here's the shot from April 1922 that helped me to solve the mini-mystery!


3. Hm. Not sure who tore this next photograph in half, but it sure looks deliberate!


 This shot of myself, age 5 or 6, proves once and for all what I've been claiming for years: I am a superhero!

4.  I recently posted about how my mom saved practically all of my dad's papers from his service in World War II.  Unfortunately, aside from a sole baby picture, there are no photos of my father from before their 1940 wedding. My Aunt Irene (my father's sister) once told me that my dad was quite a good dancer in his younger years... a talent sadly robbed from him, due to his WWII injuries.

I can't place a date on this photo, but I have to assume it was taken in the early 1940s. I also have to assume that his dancing partner is my mom. This horribly scratched-up snapshot was probably kept as a reminder of better times...

And after all, isn't that what most photos do? Remind us of better times? That often seems to be the case.

And, as always, thanks for your time.
 

46 comments:

  1. Should you actually prove you are a superhero? The bad guys will now know as you spilled your secret identity.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, if Tony Stark can tell people he's Iron Man...

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  2. The kindergarten photo: First, I laughed out loud about no one dressed all in black and having a beard. Second, I know where you're looking. You have your eye on that cute little girl, the first child in the front row. You're staring at her pre-pubescent shapely legs. If she'd had boobs, I'm sure you would have been staring at her chest.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. She was one of my three crushes. I got to hold her hand on kindergarten graduation day!

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  3. I enjoyed all these torn photos and stories they inspired.

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  4. Good post! I have a few pix like those - taped or glued back together because after I tore them up I decided they had some merit & were worth keeping after all. (a couple were of myself & a boyfriend I'd had a bitter breakup with - except later, after I'd calmed down, I decided maybe I wanted to keep a reminder of him around - for a while, anyway.)

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    1. I've seen other people cut the offending person out of the photo but keep the rest.

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  5. Not one, not two, but three girls...that's kind of encouraging and disheartening at the same time ;)

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    Replies
    1. It got worse. In second grade, I had crushes on seven different girls.

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  6. Love these pictures, and now I know you begin in the kindergarten !

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    1. It was a church-run kindergarten. Now, kindergartens are part of the regular school system in Massachusetts.

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    2. Ha! I wanna say you begin flirt in kindergarten!

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    3. Earlier! Family legend says that I tried to get a date with the nurse in the delivery room. :)

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    4. Ha! I dont believe thst I m sure sometime you was a really lovely baby.

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  7. That last photo is amazing. How did it get in that condition? Did your father carry it around in his wallet or stuck to the dash of his car?

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    1. When I was a teenager, I discovered that merely rubbing the surface of the photo would smudge it! I placed it in a fixing bath in my high school's darkroom and haven't had another scratch since!

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  8. smiles..your memories of your fathers dancing made me smile...it is sad what time robs us of...but i do enjoy the feel i get in looking through those better times....smiles...

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, sometimes the old shots can bring out some pretty good memories.

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  9. Some photos are worth keeping even when damaged.

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  10. That these photos have been so carefully preserved in their physical state says something about how precious they are to the owners. Isn't it wonderful that we can preserve them in a digital state, too, and keep them around for many more years. It's not the same as holding a photograph in one's hand but there really are some great things about digital copies (such as being able to easily enlarge them to get a closer look).

    I wonder how many of the girls in your kindergarten class has crushes on YOU!

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    1. I agree. Digital photographs are more convenient. It's much easier to look for a filed photo than rummaging through a box of old shots.

      And if any of those girls had crushes on me, they kept it to themselves.

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  11. OMG, you as the superhero made me laugh out loud! Whatever are you doing with that broomstick thing?

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    Replies
    1. That's actually a wooden ski pole, and it looks like I'm gonna bash the Great Garloo's brains out.

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  12. Scratchy indeed, that last one, but lovely.
    I use textures to give some of my pics that feeling, so,
    as you can see, I wouldn't mind a picture like that.

    What's your super power?!?
    :D~
    HUGZ

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    Replies
    1. Ever since I was a toddler, I've had the power of invisibility. When I close my eyes, people can't see me.

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    2. And here I thought it was going to be x-ray vision!

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  13. I'm thinking you should try the clean-shaven look again...and red plaid shirts and blue jeans would be a nice change! very nice.

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    1. ah Betsy in this picture he was a cute Little kid:)
      and what you think about the other picture?
      Is cute!

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    2. The other picture? Maybe more quirky than cute. lol....I'm waiting to hear what he answers to Ticklebear's question as to what his super power is! :)

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    3. I may have rocked the plaid shirt and jeans look in the early 1960s, but I'm satisfied with the current "me."

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  14. These were all terrific! Sadly any image posted today on the internet will never suffer the wear and tear or the fading of vintage printed photos. We don't even store them in ratty old shoe boxes anymore. I can't get nostalgic about going through an old hard drive. No dust.

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    Replies
    1. I feel the same way about old books. Kindle and similar devices may be more economic, space-wise, but I miss the feel of holding an old book.

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  15. Great photos and so nice to find the partner photo that gave you the year.

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  16. An amusing and enjoyable post.

    I can't believe that you remember the names of those you went to kindergarten with! There is only one of my kindergarten mates whose name I remember!

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    1. Yep, I really do remember the full names of all but a couple of them! Seven of them graduated high school with me. Two more would have, but they were both kept back a year at some point.

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  17. You Have Some Top Photos Here Mr (superhero) Fox!

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  18. I am glad I have managed to catch up with this post at long last - it's a perfect take on the theme. And as for that first photograph, I have to confess you do look rather cute.

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    1. I had my moments. Ha. By the way, looking forward to participating in Sepia Saturday #200!

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  19. I hope 2014 proves to be a good year for you and yours!

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