Friday, October 2, 2015


You take all those pictures. You file them away, and maybe even put them in album books, but most likely in boxes and drawers. They lie there for decades. Now and then you fumble through them and say things like, “I need to organize these some day”. You haven’t said this? OK, I’ll blink first - I’ve said it numerous times, the last of which was just today.

I can see in my mind’s eye the ones I’ll most want to preserve, print, or duplicate. For sure I should digitize them. That’ll do it. Then I can share them with the entire family, who, of course, have been lined up since four in the morning to get their download, or their hard copy of these family treasures.

Of course, they are treasures to me. Does that make them treasures to my children, who would be the only people on earth I can think of with any vested interest in such matters?

It’s a lot of work. CA says it would make a great winter project. I think making a bi-weekly bowl of chili would do for a winter’s work. Of course, I can do both. I know the chili will happen and probably not too far off either with these cool evenings driving us inside from the porch for cocktails.

In a weak moment not long ago I threatened to just pile them up and light them up. I mean, in a hundred years who will even care? Or, is that even the question?

Don’t worry. I’m not going to burn them. Excuse me - I didn’t mean to infer that you care about my old photos. I’m just ruminating and hoping that I might get past this issue sooner than later.

I can see my favorite picture in my mind. It’s the one a street photographer made of Billie, my first wife, and me on Canal Street in New Orleans in September of 1949. We were on our wedding overnight. To say it was a Honeymoon would be a serious stretch of the imagination. Neither one of us knew a thing about anything, but we looked good. I In my shark skin double breasted suit in light blue and she in a shiny, I think taffeta thing - it made noise - with several petticoats holding it out at an angle. We looked like the teenage runaways that we actually were. It had to be obvious to the entire city. The photographer spied us half a long block away and we paid him a couple of dollars for the print which we didn’t believe would come - but it did. We didn’t have a clue about what lay ahead.

But that’s the thing about old photographs. They are slices of life that reveal more, sometimes, than originally intended.

I’ve been meaning to organize these photographs for decades. I think this is the year. Well, more exactly - the winter. I thinkI can work it in between bowls of chile.

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