For those of you who even remember that wretched song 1) shame on you for letting that song take up space in your brain and 2) get your minds out of the gutter.
What I'm talking about are Other People's Pictures. Mr. Daddy and I caught the tail end of a documentary by that name on the Documentary channel this evening and it looked utterly fascinating. For those of you who don't feel like clicking over, this film followed several individuals who scour antique markets, collecting photographs and snapshots of people they don't know. One male, um, "collector" likes only photographs of sailors. There are some who collect photos that tell an unfinished story and there is a subgroup who collect photographs that catch the photographers shadow. How cool is that? I could totally get into a hobby like that! I adore looking at old pictures, especially people I don't know. I think it's the nosey in me -- Who are they? What were they like? Were they married? Did they have children? What's going on in the picture? I mean, even the most innocent family portraits can hide a multitude of Peyton Place-ian goings on.
I also love looking at the back of old postcards, reading the messages sent between friends, lovers, family members. Once, as part of my job, I had to sort through a collection of old Valentine's postcards, most from the early 1910s and 20s. It was such a fascinating look at life and at what society deemed as acceptable communication between young men and women.
I remember when I was in high school I found a packet of letters in an antique store. A friend and I read through many of them and though I can't recall now the story that they told, I do remember that my friend and I quickly found ourselves engrossed in the relationship between the correspondents. I had grand, romantic ideas of creating a book based on the correspondence, but when I asked the owner about purchasing the letters, he told me he wasn't sure. He didn't even know they were there or who they belonged to. He was was uncomfortable selling them to me without trying to find out if someone wanted them back. I told him I would check back, but I never went returned to the store. I wonder what happened to those letters.
You know, I once infamously cried during a Mercedes commercial. An older Mercedes is about to be crushed for scrap and the life it spent with its family begins to flash through its eyes. (Hush! It was sad!) But that's what these photographs are...someone's life. Flashing before my eyes. How cool is it that we all get to live on...via photograph. Maybe one day someone will be looking at photos of me and my family in an antique store. I hope they make up a happy story.
5 years ago