You know I believe that “pictures are worth a thousand words.” Just think about the last time you walked through a museum. It doesn’t have to be a large, famous one, like the Holocaust Museum, where photographs tell the story of the systematic, mass execution of Jewish and gay people. It could be a small town museum where photographs talk of families that settled the area hundreds of years ago, or the kind of photos that you might see in historic lodge of one of our National Parks. It’s here you can tell something about the people by the look on their face, their style of dress, the lone dog in the photo, and the presence of women and children.
When I view these images I get a much greater sense of history about a place, a people and a time. I imagine what it would have been like to live then; to wear those clothes and live with the technology that existed at that time. I imagine it as a great adventure; different from how I live now.
I then become aware of how the images I now make for others, will be looked at by future family members in much the same way. Future generations will laugh, cry, and wonder about the people long gone in the photographs. They’ll see a bit of themselves living there within the layers of the Kodak print. They’ll recognize the smile, the strong jaw, the way someone stood, etc. Suddenly, we know where we came from.
Recently, while my mother was here, we took a spin in the pontoon boats that you can rent in the Juneau lagoon, down near the Lake Michigan Lakefront in Milwaukee. My mother strapped on her life preserver and with great enthusiasm, was ready to go! As soon as I framed and made this image on my EVO, I had an epiphany. My sense of adventure came from BOTH of my parents. For a long time, I thought it was just from my father. But here she was, almost 83, and ready to keep having fun. At 50 she learned to downhill ski with my younger sister. She flys in spite of her fears of it. She climbed in a out of powerboat recently at my brother’s cottage, and every winter she closes up house to migrate with her peers to Florida.
Of course I see my resemblance to her. One would have to be blind to miss it! And now, I see how I hope to be when I reach her age. I hope to be just like her, taking on new adventures and enjoying all things new in my life, regardless of age.