Through my father’s eyes is a new series of blog posts. It has taken me a few years to be able to look at my father’s pictures without getting sad. It takes time to reconcile the memories. These pictures are from the Auntum of 1964. I would have been a little kid, and my sister was also on the scene. We were living in Chicago (I believe we had moved to Vernon Hills by then, but I am not completely sure). The pictures are of fall scenery. Dad loved to take pictures of fall leaves. It was a passion of his; I know that because there are some Autumn folders in the slide trays. I suspect these pictures were of something important. Dad captured moments that meant something to him over the years. However, I don’t know what these were off regarding importance.
My grandfather, my father’s father also took scenery pictures. His however were mostly of the Wisconsin River around Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin. I can, for the most part, figure out where on the river the picture was taken. From floods to snow Grandpa took pictures of the river. I suspect based on the dates; he has a pictorial study of the Wisconsin River from 1958 until they moved to Racine in the mid/late 1960s. It is funny sometimes when I consider the problem I have here. I know my father, he and I didn’t agree, but I knew him, I knew he was proud of me and often I knew what he felt about politics, ecology, teaching science and what was important to him intellectually.
I don’t however, understand some of the pictures dads took. Some are clear to me, loving pictures of his children and my mother. Loving pictures of signs in parks and along the road. Those I understand. But the ones that are hard for me are the ones I wasn’t around. Or, that I was too young to understand why the picture was important to dad. Through his eyes I see the world that he loved — my grandfather’s pictures, on the other hand, I have the reverse problem. I know the Wisconsin River was important to him. His loving study of that body of water speaks to me. The pictures of my grandfather’s that I don’t understand are the ones with people in them. Why were the people important, why then. Funny how when you look at what others find critical, you end up wondering if you understood in the first place.