I am continuing through my father’s eyes series with some pictures from California. First, if I may diverge from my message to a longer shared message, note the discoloration of the scanned pictures. Over time the composition of slides and pictures changes. The aging process is not kind to images. These images were all stored improperly and are more than 50 years old. The reality is that a huge percentage of the actual image is now gone forever. Not to mention the fact that the slides are more than 50 years old. My father went to California before I was born (I believe) to help his sister move back from California. It was a very difficult trip to my dad and his older sister for some reasons. My Uncle had killed himself. Dad helped his sister move back from California.
I don’t know a lot more about the story. It was a family tragedy that happened either before I was born, or when I was very little (less than a year). It is funny because your family has a history before your appearance. There are many things that happened before I was born that I have out about later in life. My mother always says “it’s your memory.” I suspect many of the stories that stuck with me later in life were told to me before then; they just weren’t sticky. Memories unlike children, have to be sticky. In fairness, children have to sticky as well, but for different reasons than memories. The memories of my aunt and cousins were of visiting my aunt at the end of her life, so my dad could say goodbye to his oldest sister.
We saw my Uncle years later when he and one of my cousins visited Bloomington. We saw my father’s younger sister often. She was a school teacher and a great influence in my life as was her husband my uncle. Memories that don’t directly involve you are hard to share. They aren’t by nature sticky unless there is a wonderful story that goes with them. My father told me of his sister teaching him photography. My aunt was an award-winning photographer. That moment was important to my father. I remember that one. That memory was sticky. The aspects of, the moments of and the memories around my father’s trip to California are lost to me. They should be there, just as the memories of my father’s father should be there. Perhaps they are, sticky, but hidden deep in the recesses of my mind.