austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

My thoughts just weigh me down

I'm still thinking about music, but the photo album project has been consuming most of my evening time except for what was lost this evening to my brother-in-law's birthday dinner. This was being celebrated early so that tomorrow he could go to some adjoining state where they have Hardees, and don't think he wouldn't go to a Carl's Jr if there were one anywhere nearby. He has strong feelings about fast food restaurants and I admit the more I learn about him the less I understand him.

Anyway, after digging around several plastic racks with miscellaneous photographs I've managed to assemble about 150 photographs, and that with almost nothing from photo albums (and none of this is from digital photographs!). Selectivity is going to be hard, not least because of a few obvious must-haves (at least one of each identifiable relative, pet, and house) which multiplied over the strands of family, decades involved, multiple moves, and our historic tendency to photograph way too much of everything means we might actually not be overwhelmed with Christmas and Birthday Party pictures. That's helped a bit by finding miscellaneous documents worthy of scanning --- a brother's kindergarden report card, my mother's science fair commendation, my parents' engagement announcement in the newspaper --- but obviously things could sprawl on forever.

So as you might figure my evenings have been spent awash in the smell of memories suddenly yanked back to the forefront. Many are pleasant, like the wallpaper of the house I consider my childhood home. Some are startling, like seeing proof of how long I needed to discover I look better in solid-colored shirts. I even used to wear some T-shirts with text on them, if you can imagine, and I look hideous in every one of them and not just because it was the 70s and we were using that Bad Fluorescent Sun instead of the one that gave attractive lighting. And some are whole mysteries: I found several of my and the eldest of my little brothers on a few rides at what looks like a family fun center or tiny amusement park which I don't remember (if the date is to be trusted, I wasn't yet four years old, explaining that) and whose name I can't make out.

Hopefully I'll remember to ask about the park after my mother receives the album; also hopefully she'll either remember it or be able to make out the note she put on the back. Unfortunately deciphering my mother's handwriting is a great challenge and there's no guarantee she or anyone else could do it. If it doesn't yield to inquiry later this month I may scan the backs of the pictures and turn it over to the world to collaboratively decipher, at which it will fail.

Trivia: Westinghouse advertised in 1910 its electric fan as costing one-quarter of one cent per hour to operate. Source: Home: A Short History Of An Idea, Witold Rybczynski.

Currently Reading: Beyond Freedom and Dignity, B F Skinner.


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