Intellectually, I know that time and its division into the various factors like hours, days and years is entirely arbitrary. However, I also realize that these artificial divisions enable us to live efficient, somewhat predictable lives and operate government, business, and private lives in a more smooth manner.
Of course, today is the start of a brand, spanking new year across most of the planet. The printer’s ink is barely dry on our calendars and already, they hang on the wall for our reference. This mental feeling of freshness will soon evaporate as we, once again, fall into our routines and habits.
One of my traditions on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, is to rummage through my photo albums and the pictures still inside the envelopes. Each year, I promise to place the loose images inside of an album. I soon reneg on that idea. Lately, I also go through images on storage media. I’ve become aware, that there are a lot of photos for perusal. I think it’s a bit sad that most, if not all, of these photos will find their way to the landfill site after I die. I still find these pictures to be good milestone markers to remind me of how far I’ve travelled along life’s highways. They are as valuable as gold to me.
So far, I’ve been lucky not to become mired in nostalgia. I’ve long considered overindulgence in nostalgic thoughts to be counterproductive to living a full, joyful life. Some reminincing, though, is healthy.
Today, I came across some vintage photos that used to be mounted in my late mother’s photo album. My share got placed into some envelopes and put away in an old tin box. It’s been several years since I last dug out the container.
A kid is lucky to have one or more mentors to show the way to adulthood. In addition to a somewhat normal 1950s nuclear family unit, there were other adult men in my life. One of whom lived across the alley and was a friend of dad’s.
Bill was a man’s man who didn’t need to drive a pickup truck to “prove” his masculinity. I remember many weekends with Bill on outings in his red Studebaker Lark compact car. A snapshot of Bill’s haul at Lewis and Clark Lake in South Dakota jogged my memory of this great friend. I’m not sure, but I believe I caught one small catfish that day, it’s barely visible at the right side of the lineup.
During the same timeframe, I was involved in the neighborhood Cub Scout Pack. I don’t know why my folks didn’t buy me blue jeans. I went through most of childhood wearing khaki or twill slacks. I wonder how important a boy’s wardrobe might be in his social development. Perhaps our Troop should have required that we wear the Official Cub Scout trousers?
This is the family house we enjoyed when we lived in Lincoln, Nebraska. One winter, the snows were frequent and deep. The big drift on the east side of the house caused a natural snow fort. Dad took this picture when I had to manufacture more snowball ammo for the next skirmish. I’m glad I grew up in a place that had real winters.
Who are your real friends? I was lucky to have Jeff as my best pal. He lived across the street from our house in Lincoln. Jeff and I were almost as close as brothers. My real brother, Mark, shot this picture while we three rested after some good natured roughhousing. Jeff liked to drape his arm across my shoulders quite often. One reason I liked Jeff, is that he pushed the envelope very often. His daredevil nature rubbed off on me. For Jeff, I am very thankful. Without his exuberance, I probably would have turned into a wallflower.
I’m glad these pictures came up today. They illustrate a small part of the foundation upon which I have built a life. A structure that undergoes frequent remodeling efforts.
Happy New Year!
The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you’re now inspired to dig through your own collection of vintage photos.