The Here and Now

Sometimes I write 5 times a day, sometimes I'll write 5 times a month. Either way, I hope you'll come back and check up on me :) If you're not sure whether you want to stay or go, read my About Me dohickey.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Through the Mill: The Story of Addie Card

On today, there was a link to Museum Day (yay!) sponsored by the Smithsonian, and so I followed a link from there to their magazine, and found the story of Addie Card.

It's the story of a young girl who was involved in child labor. Or rather, it's the story of A PHOTO of a young girl who was involved in child labor. I am not sure if I'd ever seen the photo prior to reading the article, though now there's a slight familiarity with it. The author of the article has written a novel about it, and I'd like to read it. Of course, there are so many things on my to-read list. But this one will definitely get added. The theme of the story brings to mind something I've always wanted to discuss with other people. Photos.

Have you ever just randomly just thought about a photo someone might have taken of you, that you never got to see how it turned out? Well, of course, I guess that mainly applies to the pre-digicam era, because now there's instant gratification. But back when I was in school, I remember friends taking pictures of me on their disposable cameras. Capturing moments on film that I'd mostly never get a look at. Sure, there were Polaroids too, but you got to see those in a matter of minutes. The 35mm film? Well, that ended up going to the developer (if you were lucky and didn't let it sit around for years...not that I have disposables from 2 years ago that I still need to develop or anything...), and then the little white envelopes (with the Kodak ads on them, of course!) would inadvertantly get tossed into a drawer somewhere and not looked at for awhile. If you lived near your friend, you had a slight chance of getting to see the picture if you happened to be in their room shuffling around with them, but if you met the person at summer camp? Forget it.
I wonder how many pictures of me there are just randomly floating around the country...from Field Days, church camps, and other times past. I wonder how many people have those pictures in acid-free photo boxes, and how many still have them sitting in the bottom of random cardboard boxes filled with school relics. I wonder if those people who forgot to write my name and the date on the back still remember who I am. I'm guilty of forgetting.

I have one photo box...a deep burgandy one I picked up at Jo-Ann Fabrics. It's your standard acid-free cardboard kind, with fil-o-fax dividers to write the event or year or whatever else on. I don't use those dividers. My pictures are all just thrown into the box. I finally got around, this past January, to making an actual photo album with family pictures in it. Never did finish my only started scrapbook though, one from last summer when a close friend visited from England. But I look through those pictures a few times a year, planning to organize them somehow. But there are just too many category options, so they generally just go back in the jumble. I tend to take out pictures that I finally have decided ARE too blurry to keep, like everyone said they were but I refused to believe. I look at them and realize how many names I've forgotten, and wonder if maybe the only reason I remember some of those names is simply because I remembered to write the names on the back at the time. I'm not sure if I ever throw out the pictures of the people whose names I've forgotten. The sensible part of me right now wants to say that I do, but the sentimental side of me (which keeps every movie stub, random napkins from places, ALL her notes from friends from middle school) says I don't throw them out. The minute I do, I'll remember the person and wish I had their picture or something silly like that.

I always intend to do something with those trinkets...make a scrapbook of my boyfriend and i's relationship....make a trip journal....but they sit in that box, waiting. Just like the pictures.

What about you? Do you ever wonder about those pictures you don't get the chance to see? Do you put your movie stubs somewhere special, or just dump them in a pile? Do you shake it like a Polaroid picture?

I wonder what Addie Card thought about that picture that was taken of her. I wonder if she ever got to see it, or if she ever wondered what became of it?