Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1990 via 1940

While I was home in NH I managed to find this gem in one of those boxes of mismatched photos that I imagine every family has - tucked away in a cabinet- permanently waiting to go into albums. There are photos of my brother and I at 2&4; others at 9&11 (looking heroic amounts of awkward), and then there was this. A shot taken when a more "artsy" photographer was hired for the Westmoreland School (K-8, about 120 kids) by the Cultural Arts Committee. On this one special day, we kids were allowed to bring both props and friends into the booth with us, and most excitingly, we got to take our own photos with a big squeeze button attached to a long rubber hose. I remember seeing one of Ali LeDuc and myself in striped pajamas, surrounded by & strangling what must have been an entire car load full of stuffed animals, and one of my brother and his friend George Hanna (who would randomly meet Phil's sister Amber 15 years later, and marry her - becoming my brother in law) with every baseball bat, football and tennis racket they could carry onto the bus that morning. I can't fathom that I actually CHOSE to take a photo all by myself (uncharacteristic of me then, as I was ridiculously shy), but I remember this dress quite well (I've always been fond of scandinavian looking things, even in the 80's & 90's when the rest of my wardrobe was based around my refusal to wear jeans or brush my hair, and a serious loyalty to stirrup pants, hawaiian print "jams" and DIY tie dye tshirts. And I remember the day so clearly from any other day in middle school, because it seemed like we were all so important, and like we were part of a big production. Nothing like the normal school photos, where they told you how and when to turn and tip your head. I can't explain the scowl on my face, other than to say that I most likely didn't quite get WHEN the photo was going to happen, since I was so concentrated on attempting to step on the clicker - thus, this is probably one of the most candid shots I've ever seen of myself. I had no idea it was happening, even though I took it of myself. I'm so glad my parents kept it.
Along with it, I found a handwritten note from a 5th grade teacher saying I was excelling in the arts, A note from my brother to my parents from high school, saying he'd gone snowboarding with a friend despite being grounded, and hoped they weren't too "pissed off", a photo in which 7 year old me is both holding a cupcake and maintaining an award winning potbelly, and a high school report card on which I had all A's except for French, in which I got a B- and a note that reads (i kid you not) "Rachel needs to speak more Spanish" from Madame Cavallaro. Which might just prove why I'm still far from fluent in either language.
I'm realizing it's the imperfections that make things memorable enough to be deemed worth keeping in such a box - in a cabinet somewhere - waiting to be put into albums.


Sarah said...

I can't get enough of this photo! I love seeing photos of friends from back before you knew them.

Jennifer Bone said...

It was 4th grade, I'm almost positive. I always loved this photo...