Sunday, August 20, 2006

One Last Hoorah!

School, real school, starts on Monday. And it ain’t for no eight stinking weeks either. This time it’s a full fledged 16 weeks of 15-hour dread. My wife tells me that the university is full of new insects moving in and scuttling about. That means more.

More idiot 18-year-olds, more jewel encrusted thongs, more lovely tit-bibs, and more yammering. I’m sure my office – Plaster Student Union 3rd floor mezzanine – will be crawling with babies missing their Mommies on one hand, and trolling for beer buyers on the other.

Knowing that is coming, I treated my girls – my wife and daughter – to a family weekend including a trip to Celebration City in Branson. I took some snaps while we were there. I love to take photos. It’s a fun little hobby. I don’t have the technical knowledge of Minutia, Curbstone, or ZachIsHere, but I don’t mind. My digital instamatic (Pentac Optio Water Proof) does my grip-and-grins a fine enough job. And from time to time I even luck out with a decent photo or two.

I did make the girls take a break from the fun a couple of times so I could take an artsy-fartsy shot or two. All this fancy photographing that Duane took at the fair gave me inspiration to shoot. Besides, we can look back years from now and prove that we do love each other, green boogers and all.

On our way home my wife commented that we had the best time that we’ve had in a long time. Yeah. We spent the morning and afternoon with Grandma Juju (Jewel to the rest of the world). Homemade biscuits and gravy makes for a happy Jack. Healthy Jack? Well probably not, but it was fun anyway. I love it when Juju cooks for me.

After that we went through old pictures, which I’ve never seen, of her side of the family. We even talked about … Ivan. We never talk about Ivan. Grandma never talks about Ivan. Juju nearly scared me skinny when she brought him up. Ivan would be my uncle, my mother’s brother. He died when his two boys were very young. It was tragic and bloody and it was my Mother who found him. He died in her arms. We don’t talk about Ivan.

That is, until today. I saw pictures of Ivan, and Grandpa, and Grandma kissing Grandpa. Up until now I was certain they never kissed. They were so young and beautiful and happy. Each cigar box neatly tied with string was stuffed with photos and negatives, Christmas cards and old ration coupon. Each time I finished one she would scuttle off and bring me another. We did this for hours, she and I, laughing and enjoying the dated hairstyles. Juju remembers everything. That was so-and-so. She lived on Main and Talbot. Now her Mother was a wild one … on and on. Oh yeah, that’s cousin I-can’t-remember, who married I-never-knew-her-anyway. My cousin Terry is right. Grandma remembers every wart on every person she ever met. I don’t remember things like she does. Too much multi-tasking I suppose.

But I can, from time to time, sit on the couch and rummage through old photos with my Granny. That’s our version of sitting on the front porch with a glass of iced tea talking about the neighbors goings-on. My wife was right. It was one of the greatest weekends we’ve had in I don’t know how long. I have pictures to prove it.


John Stone said...

I don't hold a candle against Duane's searchlight when it comes to technical stuff. He is amazing at finding info that none of us would have thought about.

I find it interesting that so many bloggers are also good photogs. Zack has a wonderful eye for composition and art, (he just needs to get rich enough for a really good camera and Duane and I are forgotten), Granny can find some of the funniest things locally, and there are others out there.

Maybe there is something about the creative process that links the two. After all, photography, like blogging, doesn't happen in the camera or computer, it happens in the noggin'.

admin said...

Oh yeah, Zach. I should have mentioned Zach too. Sorry Zach. I've seen your site and you are a dandy photog. I apologize for not mentioning you in the post. Shame on me. I'll go back and add you in. That's what I will do.

You know my little Pentax Optio is fantastic. The best part about it is it is Water Proof. Oh yeah, water proof. I've taken it in the wave pool at White Water and take pics submerged. No problems. When I am out and the rain comes, everyone else covers up their camera. Not me.

It's the size of a deck of cards, but shoots goot photos. I just don't want to carry the big camera anymore. I did that when I worked at the paper. Carried it everywhere: family events, vacations, etc. It's just too heavy and clunky.

I have a rudimentary understanding of aperature and shutter speed. But I don't really get it. I use the automatic settings to get what I want. If movement, then use the sports setting. If close up, then use the portrait. If really close up, then use the macro.

Most of my pics are really snap shot style with a small flair for art. But I'm okay with that. But I tell you, when I hit a shot like the one with the water splashing on my daughter, I am just tickled to death. Those shots make it worth it for me.

It may not be real art, but it's my art. And they like it and they do not like it. But it is mine. (Nod to Bukowski.)

Anonymous said...

Nicely done Jack. Light of the Moon is my favorite. Now we just need to get you out to the Ozarks Genealogical Society so we can help you begin to document that rich family history.

admin said...

Thanks Ole.

I would be interested to know some of your techniques in preserving that family history. It's always interesting to know what piece is someone's favorite. UP YOURS is my favorite. Those action shots are so hard to do, at least for me. And then to get the right things in focus, have it framed properly, good background, and all of that. Yikes, that's hard for me. Mostly, I fail at that. This weekend was lucky for me.

Duane k said...

Thanks for the kind words, fellers! I enjoy reading about and looking at all the creativity our little community has to offer!

Unknown said...

Some of my most precious memories are of my great grandmother pulling out the photos. She was able to give us the details of every person from 50 years ago. Reading about your experience with Grandma Juju brought a happy tear to my eyes and remembrance of my grandma. It sounds like a wonderful weekend.