Sunday, March 26, 2017


I came across this quote on Pinterest the other day across a 50's era photo of a tall man holding a 5 year old girl in his arms, and realized how many times I'd thought that as I've been wrestling with "the big clean out". If any of you have dealt with cleaning out the detritus of multiple generations, you know of what I speak.

My mother graced me with boxes and boxes ...and boxes of "stuff" that I could have just chucked, but didn't, and I've spent months and months going through them, separating the stuff into piles to "shred", recycle and "scan and send on to the cousins". And then there are my boxes of slides and negatives from 4 years of college, 3 years in the Adirondacks and 15 years in California, which she also boxed up and brought along, bless her heart. lots of time bombs there.

So, what have I found? tintypes and old photos of my great grand parents and grand parents as young parents and even as children. Photos of my parents as children and young lovers. Photos of my Dad and Aunt Evelyn during WWII all over Europe and pinup shots that my mother sent to Dad so he wouldn't forget her, Photos of the man I loved and lost - twice. Photos of places that I lived or visited and loved around the world - Paris, the Cliffs of Moher, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Kyoto, DC, Montreal, Yosemite, New Orleans,San Francisco, London, Yellowstone, Rome, Toronto, NYC, LA, the 4 Corners in the SW, and all over New England.

Pictures of my brownie troup from Jamestown NY , my brother's indian guide den. Pics of us up on horses, riding at my uncle's farm or at local stables - of us skiing at the golf course in Jamestown or at Holiday Valley- or just down Cook Avenue.

As my parents' generation passes, and now mine starts to diminish, and our memories start to fade, all that's really left are photos to remind us of who we are- to kick start our memories. I was part of a large, loud , rowdy family. I grew up knowing that my "big boy" cousins  (all 15-20 years older than me) would protect me no matter what, and show me a great time - rides on their motorcycles, trips to stock car races where they drove or to the rodeo when it was in town. My  cousin Bonnie, 5 years my senior, protected me on the school bus if I had to stay late and ride the Big Kids bus home. It was a different world back then, and there are days that I wish I could turn back the clock
Now, most of those Big Boy cousins are gone, and when I look through my high school year book, I wonder what happened to kids with whom I graduated. We move away from "home" almost as soon as I graduated. Dad was transferred from Jamestown to Cleveland and then four years later to Los Angeles, so it wasn't until he died and Mom started returning to Chautauqua County for long visits with my Aunt Ruth that I came back. and by then the diaspora from Jamestown had begun. Industry moved away and the population halved. Very few of my class are still in the area, as there were no jobs for them to return to from college. My friends and I drifted apart, and I don't hear from them much any more. I just found one recently on Facebook- after 45 years! And Mom would smile at that thought. She was still in touch with some of her childhood friends right up to her death.

But these photos that I've found in the boxes  each tell a story. A walk down memory lane. I 'm sure a couple of my friends from college, if they're reading this, are praying that I'm not going to post any pictures of them to embarrass them if their spouses or kids/grandkids  should stumble across them. Have no fear - that promise I made to keep those confidential will stay that way unless you run for public office- then all bets are off!

And now those cursed boxes in the basement yet to be dealt with are calling my name. I would really like to be done with this whole process by the end of April and have the last Pod packed and on its way to Maryland so that I can put the house in New England on the market and move on with my life. I have tarried too long "up North" and a new life awaits me in the Mid Atlantic states, free of encumbrances and many boxes of "stuff". and Hopefully with the opening of my new studio the rest of the boxes of "stuff" that have been sent on to Maryland will be opened, put on shelves and rapidly sold. Fingers crossed all around! Those fingers of mine  are itching to be making things again - lovely metal and glass and clay things.

And, oh yes, if there are any old friends of mine out there wondering about getting in touch, yes, please do. It's been way too long, even if I told you never to contact me again. What was I thinking? We have tales to tell and memories to share, and somewhere on a hard disc I've got the pictures to prove it!

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