Sunday, July 25, 2010

Photographs & Memories

If ignorance truly is bliss, then I have no good explanation for why I do not spend more time walking around with an ear-to-ear grin. Among the many things about which I know very little is photography (just for sh*ts and giggles right there I was going to write "the law" but just in case anyone who (a) signs my paycheck; (b) pays me to represent their interests; or (c) provides the Firm's professional liability insurance I thought it wise to keep that little nugget to myself). I cannot recall actually owning a camera at any time in my life - other than the disposable kind - and up until the point that I bought a 35mm camera for Margaret a number of years ago for Christmas I do not think I had ever had regular access to one.

Times change and even creaky-kneed, ignorant dinosaurs change with them I suppose. The cell phone I currently have (and without my all-knowing technology whiz of a nephew Patrick around to confirm what it is I do not know its type other than it says Nokia on it) takes pictures and videos. The time limit on a video is 40 seconds but - not surprisingly - there is no time limit on the pictures. And it actually takes fairly good pictures, any number of which I download onto my office desktop, my laptop or both. They serve as the screen saver on both computers.

In addition to the photos I take with my trusty cell phone, since buying Margaret a digital camera two or three Christmases, I have become quite attached to the ease and convenience of digital photos. It fascinates my little brain that I can take a picture and 2 seconds later see what it is I have taken, which allows me to decide right then and there whether it is a keeper or not. Completely by accident I have become a fairly decent photog using Margaret's camera, although I get subjected to brutal criticism by my human subjects over taking too long to take a picture once they are all in position. Who appreciates genius? Not my wife. Perhaps Margaret would if the lummox to whom she is married ever did anything that approximated it. I snap a picture correctly and I wait in eager anticipation for the parade in my honor to follow.

Yesterday morning I was at the office working - and trying to keep myself from spontaneously combusting in the stifling heat (memo to building management: air conditioning is as much of a need on a 95 degree Saturday as it is on a 95 degree Friday) - and as I was doing so from time-to-time the screen saver popped on. When it did it winded its way through a rather dizzying array of photos from any number of events that have taken place over the course of the past couple of years. Included among their number were photographs that were taken one year ago today. Photographs that were taken in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains just west of the CU-Boulder campus.

It is mind-boggling to me (considering the size of the mind the boggle is not too much of an accomplishment actually) that one year has already passed by since those pictures were taken. July 25 Aught-Nine was the final full day of the Western adventure that Margaret, Joe and I went on last summer. Poor Rob. We essentially took over his home, which was then located on the Wyoming side of the Wyoming/Colorado border, for a week as we took in the sights and sounds of Cheyenne Frontier Days. On this date last year, wanting Joe to see Boulder and CU, the four of us drove to Boulder and spent the day roaming around all over. We spent part of our time on campus. We spent some time downtown on Pearl Street. We ate lunch at my all-time favorite pizza joint (and a former employer of mine back in the day albeit in a far smaller locale than it presently occupies).

And we spent a considerable amount of time up in the mountains outside of town so that my Brooklyn-born and raised father-in-law could see what the world looks like from a mile above sea level. Among my favorite pictures is one of Joe and Margaret standing together in front of the sign marking, "Flagstaff Summit - Elevation 6850 FT". July 25 Aught-Nine followed pretty damn closely on the heels of their worst day ever. Yet, less than two months after saying goodbye to Suzy B. there they stood - father and daughter - in a place that they likely never could have imagined they would ever be together doing what people do; living life.

How much fun the week that was this time last summer was is firmly etched into my mind's eye. And how great a time we had in Boulder on the final Saturday of July last year is as well. Yet, I never tire of seeing the pictures of that day. Hell - it is not as if while I get older I am in fact getting any wiser. It certainly cannot hurt to have a back-up plan.

-AK

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