Yesterday I took a photo album down from one of my library shelves and flipped through it looking for a picture to scan to my iPad. (I have recently learned how to do this….so now there may follow a series of these scans complete with my observations and thoughts and general rambling comments.) Don’t say you weren’t warned.
We have a couple of albums containing photos from my and W’s childhoods, and then the books are for the most part neatly organized chronologically from before we were married up until we had grandchildren growing up. By that time most pictures were being uploaded from cameras and saved to hard drives and I imagine some photo album manufacturers have gone out of business between then and now. So these albums will soon be museum worthy. Unless museums cease to exist. Or the house burns down.
The album I randomly selected is one of the last ones I put together I think. It is such a hodgepodge of photos it made me think of my mother. She stuck pictures in books to keep them nice, but in no discernible order whatsoever. (We did ask her why, and she said it was so that whoever wanted one after she was gone would get a bit of everything in one book.) This one I put together isn’t that diverse, but it is pretty mixed up. I guess I am becoming my mother in more ways than I know.
That’s not a bad thing of course. Here she is in 1936, 19 years old, wearing a pretty dress and sensible shoes. She was in Teachers College in Stratford, Ontario. I wonder if this was a professional photo, because it looks like the colours were touched up, or even added later. That’s a tropical rain forest kind of green. She was doing something with her life, having adventures, and in no hurry to settle down. It would be six years before she married my dad, (he was off having his own adventures in the Wild West) and ten years before my older brother was born. She had her whole life ahead of her. I think she would tell you now it was a good one.
William Lyon MacKenzie King was Prime Minister of Canada in 1936. School children would have been singing “God Save the King” because that year there were three of them – George V, Edward VIII and George VI. The start of the Second World War was just three years away.
It would be fun to pop back in time and let her know that this photo moment would be preserved for the next 90 years and end up on a picture album page shared with a few of her great-grandchildren. But looking that far into the future might have felt like tempting fate. And she would have pooh-poohed the whole idea and thought her dress was just this old thing and her hair was a sight and it would be ridiculous to keep anything for that long and that nothing about the picture was really worth saving at all…..
But here it is. And I’m ridiculously happy to have it.