Wednesday, August 25, 2004

A photograph

I want to show you a photograph.

It’s in color, but faded. Overall it has a reddish tint from age with a wide, white border around the image, the style you’d expect of a photo taken in the mid 70’s. There’s a subtle crease at the lower right corner that was quickly smoothed out, but not avoided. In the photo it is outdoors and sunny with short shadows. The camera is positioned between two worn paths in the grass—apparently an old driveway. At the end of the drive a red Volkswagen beetle is looking back at the lens.

Between the camera’s position and the car is a woman—a tall Italian with long, dark hair that falls straight to her bust. It’s parted on her left side, no bangs, and piled somewhat high on top. She’s smiling broadly, teeth and dimples displayed even though the sun is in her eyes. Diagonal brown and white stripes across the front of her blouse reach from shoulder to hip where an infant sits securely. Short wisps of the baby's dark hair are caught in the air from a breeze as she clings to her mother’s blouse and looks openly at the camera. She is wearing a white t-shirt and white plastic bottoms with no shoes.

On the left of the woman is a young girl about 5 years old. She has dark hair like her mother’s and is wearing a short sleeved, yellow plaid dress and white socks that run from foot to knee. She’s squinting, one eye closed, but smiling enough to display her own inherited dimples. On the right is a young boy with a round, bowl hair cut. He’s not yet 3 years old and standing about a foot away from the other three. His little green shirt has a darker green hem around the neck and arms and a faded picture of Big Bird on the front. His fists are on his hips and a scowl on his face, legs tightly together and feet securely planted. He is not smiling.

In the background are lots of trees and a shoddy, self-made carport in the far right.

Now flip the photograph over. In a woman's handwriting you see:

Me with Julie, Jay & Katy and our first new car. 8-25-76

My old man pulled this photograph from his wallet today and handed it to me. With it he said, “What I would give to take that picture again…”