I come from a family of photographers.  No one famous or published but camera buffs none-the-less.  This is one trait that was passed on to me through several channels of genetic short-circuitry, along with several other quirky dimensions that we don’t need to go into here.

I also hail from a family of pack-rats, a subject about which I have carried on to aggravating distraction in earlier rants.  So if we marry those two thoughts, it should come as no surprise that I have become the keeper of the family photographic heirlooms from the now departed Cooper side of the family.  That sounds nice and sweet but you have to realize this means going through no less than thirty or forty steel boxes of 35mm slides, each containing anywhere from five to seven HUNDRED slides.  You do the math.

Oh, and for those familiar solely with the digital age, people used cameras in the past to capture photographs on “negatives”, which is just what its name implies, a negative image of a picture, like so…

or a slide, which is a positive image of a picture that was held in a little cardboard square and needed either a slide projector to see any detail or one hell of a magnifying glass..and faith you wouldn’t go blind.

I know, I know…get to the point.

The point dear reader is that this combing through boxes of the past unearths images that some might say were better left boxed and stored.  At the risk of qualifying for inclusion on the Awkward Family Photo site, here are a couple chuckles of yours truly….god help me.

Ahh, now here we have the youngster circa 1963 on the Long Island shores of Peconic Bay.  No, I’m not cold, I’m petrified.  See that multi-colored novelty around my…well, that I’m wearing?  It’s to keep me from drowning.  If you know anything about the Peconic Bay, you know that you can walk out into the bay until your legs fall off before the water gets over your head.  I was taking no chances.  The whole fear of water thing is a story for another day…

Now, because if this aversion to all things aquatic at this age, I kept myself occupied by avoiding sun-stroke, which naturally occurs in redheads after..oh…fifteen minutes of sun exposure (this is long before SPF mind you) and doing things that all kids my age did when spending a pleasant day at the beach…like roaming up and down the hot sand collecting dead horseshoe crabs…

Now let’s jump forward about five months to Thanksgiving of ’63.  Here I am threatening my sister that if she touches the turkey I’ll blow her head off.  This was back in the day when boys routinely received toy guns as presents.  The one pictured here was a favorite as it had all sorts of levels on it.  My aunt, who gave it to me, kept threatening to take it away as I walked around the house doing my Kurt Cobain impression, sticking the barrel in my mouth.

Now let’s really push forward to Christmas ’67, the ripe old age of 11.  As one can deduce by the expression plastered on my face, I was on the precipice of careening into those wonderful teen years, where everything was thoroughly annoying, especially a camera wielding grandfather…



Filed under family, hobbies, life

5 responses to “buried..um..treasure

  1. oh god love ya, the pictures are such fun! the narrative with them is hilarious. more, more, more i say!

    while you were busy collecting dead horseshoe crabs and fearing drowning i was skittering around scared to death of the jellyfish.

  2. logo™

    Awwwa, cute redheaded childrens are so great,
    aren’t we?

    Glad you outgrew the Cobain tendencies…
    so messy

  3. Slides. How quaint. Most people today probably do not know what those are.

    What kind of resolution are you able to get from them?

    We had a really great toy six shooter. Round paper caps were stuck onto the rear of cartridges which are then loaded into the cylinder like the real thing. We discovered that if we stuck the cap onto the end of a short peg from our tinker toy set and loaded that, the gun would actually shoot that a short distance. Somehow, we managed not to shoot anybody’s eye out…


  4. There was one toy gun which I wanted but was never lucky enough to get: the pistol Pez dispenser. It would have had all of us doing the Kurt prepression.


  5. snowelf

    Oh this is so super awesome. I love the turkey one. Fantastic!!

    I could have a blast with my family photos.

    Are you still nervous about water?


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