In our father’s eyes

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.

I love this shot of my brother Mike and me in the swimming pool because it captures such joy.
My sister Kathy and her beautiful eyes.
My sister Jenny and her wild curls.
He captured our spunk in so many ways I’d completely forgotten. Like me hanging from this tree by one red converse.
And Mike posing like a cheerful James Dean.
And baby Jenny enjoying the lake.
And Kathy modeling her red coat and hat.
This one picture tells the whole story of baby Jenny — untamed, stitched up from crashing headlong into a brick planter, blanket sleeper, playing Barbies with her big sister’s plane.
I love this shot of us with our cousins as Pap dangles baby Kathy over the front porch on 20 Row in Colver, PA.
And this one of us with our stylish Cincinnati grandparents. Note my brother’s pocket square.
I’m not sure what we were thinking getting this close to an alligator, but luckily this one was not hungry for two reckless Wisconsinites.
He isn’t in many shots because he took them all. But, here’s my dad helping me load my toy dishwasher on Christmas morning. He was a great dad and we were lucky to have him.

3 thoughts on “In our father’s eyes

  1. Thank you Laura- for reminding me to share the past with my kids- and help them see the importance of saving it for the future.

  2. These are so good! I had no idea! Thank you Jenny for finding these treasures! The picture of Pap dangling me with all the cousins lined up captures 20 Row perfectly!

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