The photo album


My daughter is in her mid-40s and lives in North Georgia with her hubby, a patent lawyer.

They vacation a lot in Hawaii.

She was young once, and I recently scanned this old photo. Here she sits in the passenger seat of a little Cessna I used to rent and fly through the skies of South Louisiana.


Even further back, I too was young. Here I am at age 17, standing on a lake’s edge somewhere in Florida with Janie Friedman with whom I was madly in love.

Look at her. Who wouldn’t be?

This girl caused me, inadvertently, endless grief. I dropped out of Vanderbilt University because of her. I talked my way out of the Air Force early because of her.

Jeez, she was way under my skin.

Just a few years ago, I found her on Facebook, living in New York City, which to a Jewish princess is the next best thing to Tel Aviv.

I sent her a message. Two messages. Three messages. No response.

I suppose it’s best to let sleeping princesses lie.


Let’s continue the time travel. Here I sit with my sister in our backyard in Jacksonville, Florida, on an Easter Sunday. She would have been about 15, and I would have been 12.

So, 1957.

We were not a religious family, but folks got dolled up in those days on Easter Sunday, and maybe my paternal grandparents were there for a visit. They were very Christian.

About 30 years later, my sister went off the deep end, and she still swims in roiling, uncharted waters, something that saddens me.


Now let’s leap back another decade to about 1947, judging from the look of my sister. She’s flanked by the two grandmothers, paternal at left, maternal at right.

They’re sitting on one of the stoops at our farm in southwest Georgia.

God only knows where I was.

Probably sucking on a bottle, a habit I did not break for 50 years.

22 thoughts on “The photo album

    1. Cat: I would love to be 40 again. Oddly, it was the birthday that emotionally walloped me more than any other, before or since.

      I have a theory about 40. As long as you’re in your 30s it’s easy to think of yourself as young. When you hit 40, it’s a real stretch to think that. Of course, 40 is not old by any means, but it is not young either.

      And then there’s the perspective aspect. It looks real young to me now.


  1. I love old photos. I always feel sad when I see really old family photos at antique shops, etc. It always makes me want to reunite the photos with the people they should belong to.

    I recently bought a slide scanner with the idea that I’d scan all my old photos. Unfortunately, what with setup, adjustments, etc, it takes a couple minutes per slide/negative to do the scan. So I will have to be very selective.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we always enjoy the posts where you drag out old photos from your family or those of La Guapa Señora.


    1. Kim: I too have that reaction on seeing antique photos, wondering how they got away from their families.

      Slide scanner, eh? Never heard of that but, of course, virtually all is available these days. I bought my first regular scanner just a few months ago. Beats the bejesus out of having to go to an internet store every time I wanted to scan a shot or two.

      Don’t recall ever showing my wife’s family here. They are a true motley crew. On the old website I did a few times, I think. And I rarely post photos of her, and when I do I go back a few weeks later and delete them.


      1. I bought my slide scanner on eBay as Nikon has stopped making it. If you have a negative or slide, it’s much better to scan that than a print, since you remove one layer of color adjustments and copying errors. There is also some rather clever software inside the scanner that can automatically get rid of dust and scratches.

        As for your wife’s family, I recall a couple of youthful pictures of La Guapa Señora, and perhaps one of her father. But those were probably on the Tales website, not this one.


        1. Kim: Yes, you’re thinking of the Zapata Tales (R.I.P). Plus, I also left that term “La Guapa Señora” on the Tales too. Have never used it here.

          Calypso made off with the phrase, and never paid me a peso of royalties. Maybe I should sue.


          1. I’m sure a Mexican court would provide you with all of the help and support that such a case would merit.

            As for the term, in her case it’s merely descriptive.


  2. Your recent forays into your photographic past has inspired me to look for older photos that are in my mother’s house in Louisiana. Now, I need to carve out time to write about the events, such as One-Eyed Jane, my Cajun relative who shot two deer in one morning years ago, each with one shot, while calmly reading a novel in her stand. Both times that she looked up from her reading, she spottted an eight pointer, aimed and shot.


    1. Laurie: Sounds like Jane was blessed with both good luck and being a good shot.

      While you have One-Eyed Jane, my wife has a long-dead uncle who, while drunk one day and irate at losing his girlfriend, went to the Basilica here in town and took a couple of shots at the local Virgin (statue, not flesh) with a rifle. She was “miraculously” unharmed and the dirty deed is immortalized in a plaque at the church’s entrance.

      We have no photo of said uncle.


    1. Pierre: The older one gets, the more appealing time travel becomes.

      I got steered to your website via another one also dealing with model planes, which are fun. I don’t do them, but I still like the topic.

      May 2014 be great for you.


      1. I know 2014 will be a great one… Two grandchildren are on their way.
        I have two right now… Most precious things in the world if we can use the word thing about grandchildren.

        I hope you get over your first love. I know it is hard to forget.


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