When I was back at home on vacation a few weeks ago, I was over at Mom and Dad’s house for supper. My mom made sauerkraut and dumplings for me and dad like she always does when I come home. After supper my sister Pauline said “Hang around after supper, we are going to show the old home pictures.” “Oh oh, here we go…”
Before we go on, let me digress. I grew up as the middle of three boys all one year apart in age. My dad thought himself an amateur photographer, and in 1959 bought him self a real nice German camera. My dad loved to take copious amounts of pictures of his three sons, and my twin sisters.
There was one slight problem, I hated that camera. Not only did I hate that camera but I absolutely dreaded that thing. There were few things I dreaded more than Holidays and special family events because that meant that my dad would be lurking about with that damned camera.
It really wasn’t the camera I had a problem with, but the flash attachment. This attachment was a big foil cone that you would plug a flash bulb into. This flash bulb was slightly larger than a walnut, and went off as if a super nova exploded in front of your eyes. For minutes after taking a picture I would stumble around blind seeing nothing but little purple after images of the flash.
Needless to say I quickly became conditioned to squint when placed in front of that camera. It was so bad that even when we were outside and didn’t use the flash attachment I could not keep from squinting. Hence there are NO good pictures of our family with me in them. None, zip, zilch. I have ruined every picture I am part of.
Not that I wanted to, or tried to ruin them, I just couldn’t help myself. Believe me, I got a lot of slaps upside the head from my dad to try and cure my problem, but even that didn’t work.
Ok, back to the present; we all decide to watch the DVD copy of all of the old family pictures. I know it is coming and I don’t have to wait long, “That damn kid is squinting in EVERY picture! What the hell was the matter with you Michael?” My dad bellows. I feel bad but what the hell it’s been almost fifty years! Surly he didn’t think they corrected my squinting when they put the pictures on DVD?
Fortunately as I got older, the flash bulbs got smaller in size. I did eventually learn how not to squint when having my picture taken.
Too bad dad doesn’t have any of these pictures.