We have all done it. Someone is ushered off to the Kingdom and after the funeral we tackle their memories in the form of boxes of photographs. Sharon, steeled with a cup of coffee, opened the drawer that contains hundreds of photographs of life over the last 100 or so years, and we went to work. The volume increased dramatically as we worked our way into our recent past, primarily as a result of always having a camera with you. How many times in our review did we ask one another who this is, where was this taken or what is this a picture of? Too many, but a pattern of priorities in life soon becomes apparent. I do not advise undertaking this task while under the influence as the laughter, tears and anger would soon overwhelm you.
Our early lives were represented by the usual snaps of us as children. Cute smiles, funny hair styles and the usual kid stuff were well represented. High School, for me, was a giant social experiment with academics as a side dish. Baseball, cars and cute girls were paramount with student politics thrown in for balance. My political career ended at the high office of student body president, a politician’s dream as I excelled at doing absolutely nothing short of conducting a few meetings. The Army was next, with the usual Vietnam pictures and customary uniform shots. The memories here are well documented in other writings. The Highway Patrol dominated this trip down memory lane…..but not singularly. This phase was also well represented by pictures of boats, hundreds of fish, many deer, turkeys, quail and other game. Trips afield or afloat with good friends brought pause as I sorted through them, each with a unique memory. Also throughout my lifetime I have enjoyed the company of many great dogs; beagles, pointers and Labradors. My Vietnamese, rear area mongrel, was also represented, a furry example of warmth and decency in a phase of life that offered precious little of each. I can only wonder what became of him. The one over-riding revelation is the numbers of tremendous personalities that I have become acquainted with over 70+ years. I have been exceedingly fortunate with only the very occasional snake slipping into my world. (It happens to all of us.)
Sharon is the proverbial cute little farm girl. Her life on a big row crop farm with a loving mother is well represented. I am still amazed that a young, 100 lb. girl can climb into a 300 HP monster tractor and finish a field with the best male farm hand out there. She can also load a seed drill, 50# at a time, throwing sacks like a pro. The pictures of her life tell the story of how a little, tanned farm girl can turn into a bobcat in 15 seconds flat, as you have to be tough in that existence. Her professional life is well represented with photographic evidence of her prowess in the classroom and as an administrator. She was a serious educator. Sharon also shares my passion for fishing, with the unique ability to begin reading a book if the crappie were not cooperating. Her handiwork with a camera, on quail hunts, has captured the beauty of a good dog, their enthusiasm seething through the picture even today. The pictures somehow still convey the smell of a milo field on a fall day and the sounds of Luke and Belle, our German Shorthairs, thrashing through the rows looking for birds.
Our trip down memory lane tends to clear up the mystery associated with aging and energy. After looking at our experiences through life, it is plainly apparent why grandfathers and grandmothers find the recliner and a beverage so useful in the evenings. To all of you that appear in our pictures, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It has been a hoot……
God willing, we are moving on to new adventures and pictures, intent on creating even more work for our children some day…….just not too soon!
Have a great weekend.