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?