Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Family Pictures

What am I doing for the holidays?

Looking at family pictures.

My cousin Doug
has just sent me some
digital copies
of a few of the many
photos he's been taking
over the past 40 years.

As you can see from the above,
Doug has never been what you might call
a casual photographer.


Above is an unusual scene
of looking at family pictures
in my grandparents' home
in Columbus, Ohio.

The old lady at the end of the table
is my beloved grandmother.

It's unusual
because the lady to the right of her
is her daughter, Ruth
who lived in California
and hardly ever came back
to the Midwest.

And the second lady from the left
is her niece, Mary Ellen, from Iowa,
whom I also never saw in Columbus.

While the lady at the far left
is my Mom,
who is dressed too formally
for an ordinary family occasion.

So I'm guessing this is about 1970,
and the occasion is
my Grandfather's funeral.

My grandmother looks
just a bit stunned.

This is my crazy Aunt Helen in the mid 1950's

The story goes
(at least as much as I can surmise)
that she had an affair with
one of her college psychology professors.

It was possibly her first romantic experience,
and in the ensuing emotional upheaval,
something about her
got too broken to get fixed.

It's Christmas Day
at her brother Andy's home,
and you may well believe
that the pile of toys on the floor
got bigger and bigger
as more children were born.

(and since my uncle
had been a car dealer,
it always included
things that had tiny motors)

I don't know
who took this photograph,
but how could it be
more poignant?

And that's crazy me
as a Hippy in 1970,
with my cousin Doug, the photographer,
cleverly snapping a picture
through the mirror,
and his father, Andy, to the right.

I haven't changed all that much
over the years.

Except that
I'm not quite so cute,
and I stopped wearing eyeglasses
and headbands.

Here's me debating with Andy.
He was really an independent thinker
with ideas about politics,
religion, and history.

It's just that ... he was always dead wrong.

Jump ahead 25 years,
and here I'm being visited in the studio
by my handsome cousin Greg
who was in Chicago to attend my wedding.

And here's my parents
who had also come up
for that occasion.

The rest of these scenes
are ten years later,
in my parents' home
on my father's 85th birthday.

The gentleman on the left
is holding forth
on some topic
of profound importance.

While his audience
at the other end of the table
is Marin, Doug's daughter,
who has just graduated
from art school.

Here's another artist's son,
Danny Leonard,
without whom
so many events
in my parents' final years in Cincinnati,
including the 85th birthday party,
would never have happened.

And this animated fellow
is my forever
little brother.

(as old as he gets
he will always be four years behind)

Here's Mom.
Behind her
is a bust of her grandaughter,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good images. It is nice to have the history preserved in images.
Chris, you are still looking Hippy like in 1970Th.
by MishaFromMinsk

December 22, 2010  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

Loved seeing those.

December 22, 2010  

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