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archival tendencies..


brother pat and me, circa 1971



my brother pat warned me a few weeks ago that i would receive a very nostalgic gift from him in the mail...well, it arrived, but unlike most, i let it ripen for a few days before opening. i need to have the right frame of mind to accept and appreciate what i think will be a time capsule, of sorts. and in a way, i think i'm delaying something very magical...fleeting, in fact. i heard once that joseph cornell often sent packages to friends, requesting they not open them until after his passing. and what better way to extend life, i thought.

needless to say, after breaking the seal on my brother's package, i started to cry...and the tears kept coming for a solid half hour, maybe more. it contained many artifacts from my childhood, some original (?) and some re-purchased, i'm sure, from other places like ebay. but, the items that affected me most were the digital photographs he had scanned and preserved from our childhood....the visual reminders of people, places and things i had nearly forgotten. my childhood literally flashed before my eyes, seeing the garish tackiness of the decade in which we grew up (the 70's), and also the purity and simplistic values forever lost after separation, divorce and ultimately relocation that had divided a family once united. opening this 'gift' was not only nostalgic, but cathartic...i made sense of things that were cloudy before, almost imaginary. it was as if my brother and i had experienced the same dream and were rejoicing in all the little shared details, embarrassments, and idiosyncrasies of this block of time. it was one of those rare moments in life where i felt not so alone..





me at age 3....hey, i never said i was good at math!






mom and me, i was 2






god damn, this was the best birthday EVER in my mind. i asked mom repeatedly for the ultra mod sears brand tape recorder (shown left) but, was told....'nope, sorry, can't afford it, don't expect it' schpiel. imagine my surprise and girly screeches when i opened THAT present!!!!! i wore that thing ragged taping 'charlies angels' episodes via console TV, friends over nighters and, of course, every disco song i could kipe from local radio stations..






i must've been taking a nap in another room during this photo(?)....but, it's the quintessential 60's era snapshot, complete with gaudy wallpaper and 2 buckets of vintage KFC






one of many x-mas shots...it looks like a paper doll kit. yes, i enjoyed working with paper, even then..






either my blood sugar was low, or the etch-a-sketch just WASN'T the gift i was hoping for, or both?

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
alanson
Jan. 15th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
mmmm pictures
artworkslive
Jan. 15th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
i KNOW...i'm still rubbing my eyes in disbelief! for a 5th child, i feel as though i struck gold! i mean, i thought maybe i didn't even exist?!!
rpeate
Jan. 15th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
That is really excellent, and how beautiful you are! I was born in 1970, oldster!
artworkslive
Jan. 15th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
yup...i carry my oldster status with pride! in fact, i'm proud to be a product of the 60's, even though i was only a wee tot and couldn't enjoy all the flower power goodness of that generation..

nshgrl
Jan. 15th, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
wow you were really cute! and we have such similar photos, guess we're the same age!
artworkslive
Jan. 15th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC)
oh, yeah!
you and i coulda been sisters, for sure!

but, i'd still rather have you as a mama..
(Anonymous)
Jan. 15th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
wow
these pictures remind me how awesome it was/is to have a sister.
artworkslive
Jan. 15th, 2007 03:33 am (UTC)
Re: wow
yeeeeeees,
i can think of no greater tragedy than NOT having siblings. it's a gift, for sure..
circumambulate
Jan. 15th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
1) That's a whole lotta wallpaper in the B&W pic.

2) Your glasses are back in style.

My second house was built in the 20s, and some of the rooms had upwards of 12 layers of wallpaper, and misc. paint. When I was taking it all down, it would sheet off in wide swaths, stratifying across the eras from shaved green velvet, to orange and yellow vinyl, to 80s greige. You would dug it, I think.
artworkslive
Jan. 15th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
you would laugh...
i'm bidding on a pair of glasses on ebay right now much like the ones i grew up with...but, get this...they have rhinestones, AND bi-focals! HAHAHAHA

and your wallpaper excavation sounds positively dreamy....i would've made a lifetime of collages out of that stuff!

morty_baby
Jan. 15th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
As the fourth and last child in my family, I know what you mean. The first and second kid, lots of pics, the third not so much and the fourth (me) rarely. It could have been the novelty wore off but more than likely, it came down to money. The more kids the less money and not any money to spend on frivolous stuff like getting pictures developed.
artworkslive
Jan. 15th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
oh, yeah...i'm lucky they even remember my name at this point! HAHAHA pictures are only icing..
morty_baby
Jan. 15th, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
Oh yes, sweet sweet icing. So did you remember ever seeing these before? That was so kind and thoughtful of your brother to do that. My own brothers wouldn't piss on me if I was on fire. (well, except one) And I would probably say no if they did offer anyway.
artworkslive
Jan. 15th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC)
HAHAHA...yes, i can say, without a doubt, that all of my siblings would gladly piss on me (if asked..especially if fire was involved)

but, to answer your question, i DO remember many of these shots, but it's been so long since i've seen them that it was almost erased from my memory. it's funny, though...i'm looking at these photos now that i once disdained (because i was as fugly as they come) but, now i appreciate them for their historical importance...for the little things they uncover, like, "OOOOH, i remember that lamp and the green shag carpeting and that rusty red refrigerator and those hideous wood carved artworks and the dinner bell and the kitchen chalkboard that had the same numbers etched on it for umpteen years...'
(Anonymous)
Jan. 16th, 2007 06:01 am (UTC)
kewl kewl kewl!! pat must be psychic. we were just talking about your want for childhood memories in p-twn!!

man, you were cute!!!

Kim
artworkslive
Jan. 16th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
weird, huh?!! pat also gave me a dressy bessy doll!!! remember those? kinda freaked me out, cuz i didn't remember i had one until i opened the package and saw it!!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 20th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC)
way-freaky!

i had a dressy bessy doll and kevin had a dapper dan! i LOvED my dressy bessy!!!! how fun to do all the little clothing zips and buttons and ties and things! crazy thing, childhood. and no way were you fugly!!!! you were totally adorable!!! i think you were a beautiful little girl! you remind me of one of my little tap students who everyone adores and thinks is cute as can be.

Kim
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )