In most cases, the pictures are more than a half century old and the photographer who took them has been gone for 30 years.
But, unearthed just recently, they offer an astonishing gift. My dad did more than document our childhood when he shot the slides, film, photos and, later videotape. He showed us what we looked like in his eyes.
Even all these years later, we’re so grateful for the view.
In his eyes, we are spunkier than I remember, full of confidence and joy. We are risk takers and laugh lovers.
In one picture, my sister Kathy and I stand right next to an alligator who had wandered up from a pond, a brave but really ill advised adventure for two young Wisconsinites.
He took pictures of occasions and holidays, campfires, swimming pools, snowball fights, bike rides, scenic vistas and my grandma’s feet.
That last shot told the story of his love for his mother and of her strength. My grandma rarely wore shoes and, in the shot my dad took, her feet stood utterly unperturbed on a mound of pebbles. She used to walk up the mountain paths behind her house in her bare feet.
She was indomitable in her son’s eyes.
It has become so much easier to shoot photos but maybe a little more difficult to preserve them in ways they’ll last through generations.
I’d encourage you all to print your best photos and store them carefully.
Your family will thank you for the precious gift of seeing the world through your eyes.