Saturday, October 16, 2010

I ponder the family: Shaker Heights, April, 1965

In august I started scanning slides that belonged to my Godmother (who was also my cousin) and her parents.  Discovering the cache was a big like finding treasure, and having never seen these before, it was also a bit eye opening.  Anyway to day I have scanned over 400+ slides (3/4ths of which were Kodak Stereo slides from the 1950s) and out of those 400+ slides there were none of me. 

Not surprising - I since I am the half breed in the family; the black-sheep, thats me.

So around slide 400, it dawns on me that I'm not in any of the family slide - man, that sucks.  Or so I thought.  In the last batch I loaded to the scanner, the very last 35mm slide I loaded from the box, slide embossed number "1" from April, 1966, there was I, dressed in a Madras plaid jacket, holding a toy car.  A whole 3 and a half years old. 

While I was very happy to find this picture - Hell, I was ecstatic - it was the look on my face that I love.  It shows me at an age when a child begins to develop a sense of the world around them.  An age when congnitivly a child starts to make decisions about where they fit in to the world around them.  And following Piaget's theory of cognitive development (preoperational stage), I am using my mouth as the physical representation of the process of mental thought.  On the wheel of development that they give to every new parent today, I am right on track.

Lets just say that not every slide in the box is "flattering" to the person in the image.  These seemed to be the slides that included people with their heads cut off, or caught in mid blink, or with their mouths in mid-word.

This image of me is awesome.  It tells a story.  I shows me with a toy car - my favorite type of toy.  I am dressed up, but my tie is askew.  Fashionable, but not obsessed with details.  Thats me.

But its the face that tells a story that I have struggled with through my whole life: me pondering the circus that was family.  And I am wondering how in the Hell I'm going survive the ritual to come.  Somehow I did.  It didn't kill me, but it also feels like it happened to someone other than me.


  1. Yes, your tie IS askew.

    TJB would have something to say about this.

  2. Show us the boy at 3 and 1/2 and you can see the man...
    Great picture. I have about the same number of slides to go through that were my Fathers...
    I'm cringing at the very thought....

  3. adorable...

    that looks like one of those nice models that came from the dealers, the ones my friend had, but i did not.

  4. Wonderful picture!
    Looks like you're sizing them up there.

  5. Norma - I have about 150 of those models, in boxes. The ones I had as a child where cherished, but they were played with. You can buy them on ebay. The Chrysler Imperials of 1964-66 are by far the most expensive.

  6. A whole 3 and a half years old.

    And that's the first picture of you to turn up?

    Love the jacket, I wonder if it still fits...

  7. Thats the first picture from the family to show up. All the other grandchildren there are dozens of pictures. Me? Just this one.

    This is why my cousin's wife had such a hard time believing I existed. I haven't seen this one first cousin in 30 years. I'm the black sheep, the little half breed.