Old Photos

{Just wanted to give a quick apology to my poetry podcast followers for missing this week’s podcast. I promise to be back next Friday with a new one!}

I love old photos—I always have. There like little windows into the past, and it’s especially fun to notice the details, or even just to see what and how people decided to record things. Over the past some-odd years I have acquired some old photos of my family. I got a bunch more this past winter when my grandmother passed away, and now I look at them every day, framed up on the top of my dresser. Here’s a little glimpse.

Me and my sister (I’m the little one on the right) taken in our backyard in Connecticut. My parents owned and ran a restaurant called the Georgetown Chowder House at the time, and I believe one of our waitresses Jennifer snapped this photo for a photography class she was taking. I always had long messy hair that my mom tried to tame with barrettes and braids. This picture definitely hits me with the pangs of time gone by. My sister has two little boys now, and the oldest one is turning 6 next month–older than I was in this picture!

These pictures crack me up–they’re some that I collected from my grandma’s stock. The school photos are of my dad when he was, I think, in junior high. his facial expression just hints at the screwball he was/is underneath. And then there’s my dad’s high school graduation picture–I love these kinds of pictures—everyone seems to have dozens of photos of their kids, at various monumental life moments, posing in the yard—often showing more of the yard than the person in question! The wonderful picture of the couple here is of my paternal grandparents—I love my grandfather’s sneaky smile, and my grandmother’s glasses!

This here is one of my favorite pictures— there’s something incredibly personal and special about seeing a picture of your parents (mine are there in the center) when they were young and in love and did I mention YOUNG! This is a photo of my parents with their parents at their engagement party. The year must have been 1977. My dad’s Italian parents are on the left, and my mom’s are on the right–good Polish stock. Many things are hilarious to me here—the gold paper they put up on the left wall (they were in my dad’s parents’ garage and must have thought it needed to look a bit jazzier), the fact that my dad’s parents are so much shorter than my mom’s parents—I don’t think I ever in my life saw the two pairs together. And my parents, my parents—they are so vibrant—my dad is so fashionable and thin (he’s had a belly for all the time I can remember), and my mom’s smile is so bright you could see it from the moon—honestly, I can’t get over the look of pure happiness on my mom’s face! My parents are still married 33 years later.

Why am I sharing these random old photos with you? Aside from the great privilege of being able to assault you with complete randomness because this blog is the perfect place to do it, I was reminded of my love of old photos by a book that found me last week (left behind by some other looker) at the public library. The book is called Now Is Then: Snapshots from the Maresca Collection, and it brings together a bunch of random old snapshots that are a really great slice of life. I think photos, especially snapshots by people who are just trying to record life, tell us a lot about what We value. I loved looking through the pages and thinking about the very personal history behind each photo, and how they all add up to one bigger history. This made me think that you might appreciate seeing a bit of my history here, but really, selfishly, I love looking at these faces of the people I love and wanted to show them to you. Enjoy.


4 Responses to “Old Photos”

  1. 1 Clara March 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Wonderful photos, Nicole! I, too, love looking at old family photos. At my request, my mom brought a bunch of them when she last visited my husband and me, and I’ve been sorting through them, trying to decide whether and how to use them in artwork.

    What makes some of them particularly special is that they’re of my parents in their home country: Cuba, so there’s that extra bit of mystery and nostalgia and sadness. There truly is something magical about seeing one’s parents in those bright moments of their youth, with their whole lives ahead of them, thinking they know the general outline of what’s to come. In my parents’ case, it turned out that they didn’t have the slightest clue.

    Thanks for sharing these.

  2. 2 Meghan March 14, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    these are great! my aunt made little books through snapfish or something similar for my cousins and me last year, filled with photos of our greats, grandparents and then personalized with our dads and immediate families. it always makes me feel so warm and happy to look through it. there just is something magical about documenting those big events that are just the beginning of a story, where no one in the photos can see the future and you see such optimism and joy.

  3. 3 Eileen March 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I love old photos too. My grandmother had one of each of her parents when they were toddlers and they are so cute! When my mother died a couple years ago I found some photos that I had never seen of her and her brothers taken when she was about 1 year old. They were all dressed up in little suits and she was in a cute frilly dress and bonnet with a cookie in her hand to keep her occupied while the photo was taken. Adorable!

  4. 4 erasmith March 18, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Ack! That last one made me tear up a bit, so adorable. I have some great photos of my parents when they are young too and I sometimes think about how many more photos we have now. It almost makes them seem less special. There’s nothing like that one amazing photo you have of your parents.

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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