Some gifts arrive in exactly the right season.
Take, for instance, the framed photograph our friend Deb dropped off for us.
As Packer team pictures go, it’s a relatively famous shot of one of the greatest teams in Green Bay Packer history. The 1962 Packers finished the season with a 13-1 record, and beat the New York Giants in what was then called the NFL championship game. From 1961 to 1968, the Packers won three NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls, which just happens to coincide with my dad’s tenure with the team.
He is 22-years old in the picture Deb gave us, teased for his baby face and still finding his footing in his second year with the team. That year, the guys posed for a goofy shot after their regulation team photo, and the resulting picture both embarrassed and amused my dad ever since. He’s the guy in the far bottom, right-hand corner of the picture with his face tenderly embraced by future NFL Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg. He got a lot of grief for that pose.
That is one layer of that particular picture’s story.
It also hung for 60 years in the basement of two of the Packers’ greatest fans. Deb’s parents, Don and Mary Schuh, raised their nine children in a house ruled by the good ole Wisconsin mantra of God first, and then the Green Bay Packers. Their spectacular shrine to their beloved team filled the Schuh’s basement and they loved having friends and family over to watch and animatedly review games.
No season, not even those that end in Super Bowls, lasts forever though and the time came for the Schuhs to move their collection from the family home. So they, and their family, looked for appropriate places for the Packer treasures.
As one season ends, another begins.
Our oldest son Charlie and his wife Tara just purchased their first home. They happened to be visiting when Deb dropped off the picture and I asked if they’d like it for their new home.
Charlie hung that photo as soon as they arrived back in New Jersey. Though Charlie and Tara haven’t even officially moved in just yet, their picture hangs in a place of honor where it will witness a new family watch and animatedly review football games.
I love that we can see a whole circle of life within the rectangular frame of that photograph.
That’s the power of pictures, and football dynasties, and love.