Friday, March 13, 2009

norma desmond moves to melaque

I have been mining the great Nostalgia Mother Lode.

There is nothing like planning a move to a new home to uncover memories -- some unbidden, others welcome. And I have been finding gold in them thar hills.

Today's offering has been stuck into a picture frame in my upstairs hall. You all probably have a similar display. Photographs creating not so much a collage of our lives -- more like a stewing stream of consciousness. Weddings. Christmases. Grand European monuments hidden behind one relative or other.

I think I discovered this photo strip when my brother, Darrel, and I helped our mother to move out of her home several years ago. (I call it "her home" because Darrel and I never lived there -- other than brief sojourns in our adulthood.)

I do not know exactly where I found it. But I had one of those almost-electric memory flashes. We have all had them. It may have been 50 years ago, but something triggers a memory as clear as if five minutes could not have passed.

That little photo strip is one of the cultural icons of my youth. And everyone of a certain age recognizes it -- and its connected experiences. Newberry's. Woolworth's. The bus station.

For a mere two bits, you could immortalize yourself with your best friend. Doing it alone was as taboo as any social faux pas. Those booths were a stage to experience the full exuberance of pre-adolescence.

How old were we? Maybe 10 and 8. We had probably taken the public bus into Portland -- on our own. To simply have fun downtown. Maybe we drove in with our mother -- to undergo the chore dreaded by any boy: shopping for clothes.

Either way, when that curtain closed, we were free of the adult world. And childish pleasures could be indulged. The most primal of all -- being the center of attention.

Half a century has now passed. But that little mugger on my left is still my best friend. And we are about to experience an adventure together that will rival that day in the Portland bus station.

Close the curtain. We are ready for our closeup, Mr. DeMille.


glorv1 said...

I just left Miguelito's blog and he too was talking of days gone by. Memories. I have pictures like that and they are in a big plastic bin along with dozens of picture albums. One day I will sit and look at them and remember. Thx for sharing.

Steve said...

Gloria -- Sharing who we are is one of the best parts of blogging. Glad you liked it.

norm said...

My daughter had a photo booth at her wedding, the machine spit out two strips of each sitting. She had a box of props, the guests had fun with it. I guess it is a common thing now-a-days.
As to my photos, I have a shelf of bound albums 14 feet long in my den, there are always a few people in there looking at them when we have parties. Mostly the kids looking at themselves when they were small. What will I do with them when I move?

Anonymous said...

"But that little mugger on my left is still my best friend"

A precious peek into your heart, Steve. Thank you.

Counting Jiggs I can see it now; a trio of boys-at-heart trekking to paradise as brothers in spirit. What a photo album.

May you enjoy every single second of your drive to Melaque. A true adventure, indeed!

Les mando mi cariño y una pequena dosis de envidia. ;-)

Alee' Robbins,

Steve said...

Norm -- I have never seen a photo booth at a wedding. But it is a great idea for a party. That must be where they all went -- to an ingenious party planner.

My guests tend to thumb through my albums as well -- and ask me questions about places that long ago faded from my memory. I am taking some with me (including some of my mother's albums) to build a digital library while I am in Mexico. Blogs ahead!

Alee' -- Thank you for the very nice compliment and wish. This should turn out to be a fun trip.

Anonymous said...

i love the pix-what cute little guys you were!

have a great weekend! hope you got my e-mail about the visit.


American Mommy in Mexico said...

What a life gift! To move into this next great adventure with your brother is so awesome. Carving out time with loved ones is the most important thing.

I am always, always grateful for time with my brother.

Steve said...

Teresa -- It just goes to show that you cannot judge the dog from the pup.

AMM -- Your two boys are setting a great benchmark for all we siblings.