Thursday, April 24, 2014

Peering Backwards Through The Glass

A lot of water has been run under and around the hull of my ferry since then.
 And while life is undoubtedly meant to be lived forward,
occasionally it is nice to take a moment to peer backwards through the glass
at a moment that meant something to you then
and to discover that it still means quite a lot to you presently.
-Author Unknown

While I was half-listening to an adversary drone on incessantly Tuesday afternoon during a telephone conversation that last substantially longer than it needed to, my mind drifted as my mind tends to do.  I found myself on-line.  I stumbled across something - truth be told I do not recall exactly what it was - that made me flash back to a very specific moment in time.  A moment that occurred not quite a lifetime ago.

On a warm June evening thirty-four years ago, in the immediate aftermath of Graduation from the Lower School at W-H, one of my sisters, whichever one had the Polaroid camera, snapped this picture.  The five of us (Left to Right:  Dave Lackland, Steve Keller, Brian Clare, Mike Koplowitz and Yours Truly), seemingly photographed at a State correctional facility on "Dress Up Like a Made Man Visiting Day" were photographed in a building known as "The Link" on W-H's Plainfield Avenue campus.  The building was so named because it linked the school's old/original gymnasium with its new gymnasium. 

A lot of life has happened over the course of the past three and one-half decades.  Only three of us in this group - Steve, Mike and the big-headed kid on the far right of the frame - graduated from W-H five years later as members of the Class of '85.  Brian and Dave left W-H for new adventures somewhere along the way as we matriculated our way through high school.  To my knowledge, I have neither seen nor spoken to Steve since we graduated from high school.  A couple of years ago I saw in the newspaper that his father had died.  I sent him and his family a condolence card.  I did not hear back from him.  Nor did I expect to.  Mike and I have crossed paths once or twice in the past thirty years and have exchanged the occasional e-mail.  Brian, appropriately shown in the center of this picture, died far too young, in the Summer of '85. 

One of the things I like the most about the whole "social media" monster is that it has enabled me to reconnect with Dave.  He is now, as he was way back when, one of the world's truly benevolent souls.  If cloning ever catches on, he is the type of person the world at large should give consideration to making more of.  Whether anyone ever really needs "More Cowbell" has yet to be proven to my satisfaction but "More Dave"?  Absolutely. 

Thinking back to Tuesday afternoon it occurs to me that what got me started contemplating this particular moment in time was something Dave had shared on-line - a photograph of his young son Indy.  Not too long after Indy was born, I sent Dave and his Missus a card congratulating them.  I enclosed the Polaroid along with the card.  If memory serves, I attached a short note to it telling Dave that I wanted him to have it in the event he ever wanted to share it with his son when Indy is not quite as young as he is presently.  Whether he still has the photograph I know not.   That is not a question to which I ever need to know the answer.  

If memory serves, back in the day when Polaroid instant cameras were all the rage and people were running around "shaking it like a Polaroid picture" we the consumers were told that the pictures taken using that film had a shelf life.  They were not intended to last forever but, in a twist that Marty McFly and Doc Brown would love, to fade out somewhere between twenty-five to thirty years.  By my recollection then, my one and only Polaroid is extraordinary for its existence let alone its content.  

Although it is its content for which I shall remember it long after it has ceased to exist.  For even though its images are color, its message is one about the never-ending shades of grey... 


1 comment:

Iguana Dave said...

I found the picture yesterday while packing, is in my "important documents" folder.
It will soon be living in/on St.John U.S.V.I. :)