Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Why do we take pictures? For most of us, it's to keep a memory. Places, people, or events that seem important to us. Most of my photos are like that too, though I do indulge in an occasional photo for art sake like the one at left.
Back around 1982 I was living with a bunch of people in one of the townhouse apartments in the house in the first photo. I am going through my photos from that time and deciding what to keep and scan, and what to throw away. There are definitely some memories to keep alive there. One being that I had just bought my first 35mm camera and these are from the first couple of rolls of film I took.
I took pictures of some of my housemates, that's Mark and his girlfriend Chrissie. I lost touch pretty much as soon as I moved out and don't see any reason to keep any of those pictures. But I am keeping the pictures I took of the next door neighbor's cats. That's the very protective Mama Cat (that was her name) below with one of her brood.
My camera purchase came with a roll of color film and I wanted to use it up quickly and then move on to black and white. I was thinking I might want to print/publish my photos. I had no problem with taking pictures of the kittens. I liked them, they liked me, they were cute.
What makes the kitten photos especially keep worthy is the memory of Mama Cat's trust in me. As I stated above, she was very protective of her litter. She kept an eye on them almost constantly. It was easy when they were really little and didn't venture out of their apartment, but once they could manage the step down to the front porch they started exploring. I lived next door, and so their first adventure was to come into my apartment. They were there for a while before Mama realized they were missing. She went tearing around in a frenzy trying to find them before she came in to see them with me. You could see the relief in her as she saw they were not only okay, but safe with Uncle Keith.
She trusted me with her kids. That is a treasured memory.
She kept near them when they went outside after that. She worried when they climbed on things and chased away dogs.
And I do have some people pictures from that time. An old apartment mate that I got along with great. We had nothing in common though. This is a picture of him at one of his motorcycle races. Later that year he was in an accident and lost the memory of that summer. I gave him copies of all the photos I took at that race. A poor substitute for real memories.
What prompted the scanning and reminiscing of this particular time period was a recent email from long time friend Dot, who sent me the above photo from a visit to me at that place.
And in that photo are other memorials. The ram skull from my stay in Texas. The Indian Pipes scratchboard which was done by a friend in college. Right behind my head is a scrap of paper from when I was in California and part of my job was cleaning old id numbers off computer chips and printing new ones on them. I had to clean the printing plates starting with several passes of a blank piece of paper. This one I saved because it looked like images of the moon.