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an unknown history in pictures

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in the vein of preparing for any event, along with finally putting together an emergency bag, i've been organizing all my old photos for scanning to DVD. i realize with some chagrin that i failed to note dates on any past the first few months of my son's life. now, some 24 years later. it is safe to say that details of the mundane daily events have disappeared into a vague black hole of yesteryear. i'm really struggling to put the pictures in some sort of order. i've been playing the detective, taking note of haircuts, certain clothing and shoe types to help me sort them out. occasions spark a glimmer. however, the images evoke such strong feelings i can't really place. it could just be the pull of nostalgia, because i can't actually remember most of it.

what would have i done differently had i a known better?

a big green rubbermaid tote holds most of the memorabilia of our small family. along with matt's old school projects and report cards, a baseball mitt and soccer trophies are photos rescued from my grandparents' apartment after my grandfather died.

i have done the same with these photos. attempting to arrange them in some sort of chronology; sifting through a visual history that is a complete mystery to me and has been rendered out of focus and inconsequential with the passing of time. even the vessel they are contained within seems to devalue their importance as a visual history. an old metal cigar box. most of the pictures are of my grandparents when they were much
younger. how younger i wouldn't know if it weren't for a photolab's
timestamp. my grandmother vamping it up; my grandfather the handsome
rake. we saw my stoic grandparents rarely and they used their broken english sparingly, so we had no oral history. i know differently now why. if only i had known them better. if only i'd had the chance.

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