I Know Very Little About
IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
5 November 2007
I have been an historian all of my life, or at least since the age of 10. I remember obsessively taking photographs and thinking at the time that I was making memories.
I don't know why "making memories" was so important to me at age 10, but it was.
I was even a "professional historian" for a period of time, as Alison Lewis pointed out that we were creating a theatre history for The Lamplighters when we sorted through two garbage bags full of "stuff" (programs, reviews, photographs, and other detritus) and put together the first Lamplighters history book. The San Francisco Performing Arts Archive apparently agreed with us, as they were happy to receive our newly-organized collection of 25 years of Lamplighters history and even threw us a nice little reception when we turned all the materials over to them.
People have just come to know me, over the years, as the person behind the camera. Many's the event where we will be with friends who specifically say they won't bother taking photos because they know that they can get photos from me afterwards.
I don't know if I've been a boon or a bane to my friends. Probably a good mix of both. But the fact of the matter is that my entire life is gathered up in a multitude of scrapbooks, a few boxes of photos that never made it to scrapbooks, and now to discs which hold all of the digital photos and videos (there are also several boxes of slides and movies from the pre-computer age around here as well!)
So when Michele died and we all started dividing up the tasks to be done to get ready for her memorial, it was the logical thing for me to offer to put together a slide show.
I'm not sure what year we met Michele and Richard, but it was probably around 1970-71, so there are over 30 years worth of photographs to go through. In later years we didn't see them much, but we did see them on photo-taking occasions! Michele's son is going to bring me some photos from their house, if he can find any.
Working on a slide show about Michele involves going back to those early Tiny Tots nursery school days. Normally I can only handle about 30 minutes of this sort of thing at a time. I watch all the happier times, all the people (and dogs!) we've buried. I see pictures of Barb when she still had all her mental functioning.
I remember all the people from foreign countries whom we came to love and who promised to always stay in touch, people we haven't heard from in such a long time (though I did get an e-mail from our very first Brasilian, Eduardo, after I wrote to him about Michele's death and sent him a copy of this photo, taken at Finocchio's night club in San Francisco when he was visiting here.)
I decided to tough it out and go through all the scrapbooks upstairs in one sitting, which turned out to be a good thing. I got past the sadness and started smiling as I watched all the parties (every time we had a group of students from a foreign country there was a gala party at the end of their homestay), the camping trips (I seem to have photographed everybody on every camping trip except Michele!), all the fun things we did with the kids. The school productions, sporting events, theatrical productions, camping trips, holidays and just "messing around" at home.
Sometimes, as we sit here in our empty nest, it's hard to remember that there was a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, and a lot of lovin' through all those years. I hope the kids remember it that fondly.
I didn't find a lot of photos of Michele, but I did find a couple of photos I remembered.
I so clearly remember this day. Gas was calculated at half-gallon prices, but they posted the gallon price, 96.4 cents a gallon, too. We were facing $1/gallon prices and I wanted to remember a time when we thought that was an outrageous price to pay for gas!
Then there is this photo, which I took many years ago at the University of California Davis arboretum at sunset. That's Jeri kneeling on the pier overlooking Putah Creek, watching the ducks. This was taken with my point-and-shoot camera and has always been one of my favorite photos. I was going to submit it for some sort of contest once, but by the time I found a place to submit it to, I couldn't find the photo any more. Now at least I've scanned it and posted it to Flickr, so I won't lose it again.
A little more recently (but not much!) is this photo of Ned with Ann B. Davis.
Ned was working at his first radio station and he didn't usually take pictures like this, or if he did, I wasn't aware of it, but this was Alice from "The Brady Bunch," for Pete's sake! How could you not take a picture of Alice?
I feel tonight like I have re-lived the past 42 years in fast-forward. If I could do it all over again, exactly as we did it the first time, heartbreaks and all, I would gladly go back and enjoy it all over again.
Only this time around, I'd be sure to take more photos of Michele. :)
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2777