Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Its All The Same

One of the problems with the human experience, is that we tend to have tunnel vision. We see and experience things in our own time and fail to see how things were done in the past (which got us here) or how the things we do now will be perceived by future generations.

We don't 'live' across time, we only exist in the hear and now. Our lives span history but we don't tend to think of it that way. Hence, the famous saying; "Those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it."

We see the angry old man yelling at the children on his lawn and think, "What a jerk". We don't think of what got him there, or what experiences made him that way. We see the cute and cuddly baby crawling across the grass, giving chase to a puppy and don't wonder if his parents are doctors or drug addicts. So much of our perception is based on hope, expectation and instantaneous reaction to what we see. As a society, we don't tend to scratch the surface much.

I have been doing a lot of cataloging recently. Scanning old film, video (in various formats), pictures, slides, etc....trying to organize them and make sense of it all. I have a lot to scan. I have taken literally thousands of pictures in the past 20 years. There are also the pictures and film that my parents took and the pictures from my wife's family as well. I have been scanning all of them.

One particular album had me fascinated. It was a book of black and white prints that were taken by my father when he was a young man. Before he was married, before he met my mother, before he was 'dad'. I scanned these pictures at a very high resolution. When they appeared on the computer monitor they were huge, sharp and clear. Not the little two inch by three inch photo in the album. Suddenly they burst forth with detail that I had never noticed. For the first time I saw the slight smile, the glint in the eyes, little things in the background, the texture of a leather jacket.

As I scanned them a mosaic emerged. A picture that I had never seen. There in black and white is my father as a young man. A rebel, carefree, optimistic. He was good looking and he looked cocky. He was probably a trouble maker. Terms that I would never have used to describe him when I was growing up. When I was a child he was always DAD. Stable, dependable, fair, compassionate, a good provider and a mentor. But that wasn't the man in these pictures. As a teen he looked rebellious, a go-getter, ready to take on the world. He had no worries and not many things scared him. He was at the beginning.

Looking at those pictures, I realized that life is the same for all of us. I had lived the same life growing up. I had gone through the same things. Once I was cocky, carefree, and a rebel. But I didn't see it at the time and I probably don't appear that way now. I didn't know that those experiences would get me where I am today. That the choices made back then would set my course. My father didn't know it either. He was just like me, and I am just like him. I got into a lot of trouble to, but I made it.

For a glimpse back at the way life was (and how much it has and hasn't changed) I have uploaded all of my fathers pictures onto a web-page. These are all black and white photos taken between 1935 and 1945. They offer a rare glimpse into the time just prior to and during World War II. My father was a flying instructor in the Army Air Corp and there are many pictures of him both in the service and as acivilian. Many of the photos have comments written on the back and these were scanned as well.

To view the pictures, just click the picture at the top of the blog, or go here.