« 'Our revenge will be light and good deeds' | Main | All fall down »

The picture of happiness

Yes, I've got ancestors of my own. Boxes and boxes of them, actually, in great unsorted masses of photos dating from tintypes to Polaroids to JPEGs. Why, then, can I not resist buying other people's orphaned ancestors in stoop-sale troves of ephemera?

Well, with these folks, it was obvious. Where else, for one dollar, could you find such a picture of family likeness and contentment? They're not quite the seaside-fun types, it is true, but they're game for some nautical breezes--and they're together. And what a heart-melting bunch they are: Dad with his Teddy Roosevelt vibe, Mom and those two sweet, open-faced sisters ("Don't worry, dear, no one thought I'd ever find a beau either, and then along came your father!"), and then the slightly raffish brother (or could he, perhaps, be Hermione's treasured beau, along for the outing?)

I tried to resist them, but the deal was closed when I turned the photo over. No identification to solve the mystery of their identity, but there was this:

Funny? Yes, but maybe true at a deeper level. What makes an "unusually good group picture" of our families? No one is glowering; no one has teeth gritted in forbearance; no one, we hope, is missing. There are no clouds on the horizon, and the day stretches ahead for them to enjoy.

How this gem wound up in a shoebox on President Street in Park Slope, with dozens of other anonymous snapshots sifted down from six decades, I have no idea. Whoever they were, I hope they had many more happy years and good times. It is fun to launch them onto the Internet, like a message in a bottle.

Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 09:43AM by Registered CommenterBrenda from Brooklyn | Comments2 Comments

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (2)

Great photo! Like you, I find these sorts of images really hard to resist. It makes you very aware of the importances of labeling photos.
November 13, 2008 at 12:36PM | Unregistered CommenterLaurel
I love looking at old photographs; it's really a form of time travel. Thanks for posting this.
November 24, 2008 at 02:30PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.