Monday, May 28, 2012

Off to the Side

I’m up to the mid-1970s in the photo-scanning project now.  There are four big plastic bins of photographs, but the first one is the longest – it’s got the albums that my brother put together, while the others have a great many photographs in frames, so in terms of photos per unit volume this box is by far the densest.

I went past my parents’ wedding a while ago, but I’m going back to it here.  They were married in May of 1963, forty-nine years ago now, and it was a well-photographed event.  Most of them are in color, and quite a few were taken by professionals.  This is my favorite of the wedding photos I’ve seen, though.

I don’t know who took this picture.  It wasn’t the official photographer – you can see him on the right there, with the bull moose of a camera that was what professionals used in 1963.  You can also see his assistant in the mirror, holding an array of lights.

It was taken at my grandparents house on Willows Avenue, probably before the ceremony rather than after, during a moment of quiet between frantic activities.  That’s how weddings are, really – run, stop, run, stop, run, stop, run.  I remember my own wedding being that way.

Part of why I like this picture is my mother there, in the middle, looking like she’s trying to figure out what comes next, or just glad for the respite in all the commotion.

But mostly, I like this picture because right over her head, reflected in the big mirror, is my grandfather, off to the side of events, looking at his little girl all grown up now.  Nobody’s really paying attention to him – he is, appropriately, not the center of attention on this day.  But I’m guessing he’s remembering at this moment, thinking back over the years, and wondering what is coming up next.

My own daughters are still young and have years to go before they reach this moment in their lives.  But at some point that will be me there, standing off to the side and wondering how it all went by so fast.


TimBo said...

"But at some point that will be me there, standing off to the side and wondering how it all went by so fast." That's what you think now, but what about your dance with the bride at the reception? Bet you haven't thought of what song you want playing. That's your responsibility.

My friend just got back from Cape Breton Island where he married off his daughter. He suffered weeks of agony (his little girl (24) getting married hit him hard) and ridicule. Apparently women start planning their weddings when they're about six and their children's wedding in the delivery room. Men never think of these things. My friend had never thought of what song he wanted playing when he danced with her at the reception and received a lot of grief from the womenfolk because of this.

Naturally I tried to help him. I suggested the Beatles, "She's Leaving Home", but then I'm the kind of friend who will try to mess you up wen you're at you're lowest ebb. He almost went for it.

David said...

I must confess that I haven't thought of a song, in part because I prefer to put off anything dancing-related to the last possible instant. Maybe I'll let them pick.

Your song idea suggests you have exactly the kind of twisted sense of humor of which I heartily approve.

KimK said...

Maybe Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World"?

And as I read these comments and plotting and planning, I think to myself: if our daughters read this today they would be totally sicked-out.

David said...

That was our song, Kim. They can find their own song. :)

Lauren has already told me that I need not worry on her account, because boys are "icky." But what if you marry a girl, I asked. "Not likely," she replied.

Beatrice Desper said...

"What a wonderful world" was our best man dance song. He insisted that he couldn't dance, but I didn't listen. He was right.
My girlfriend is becoming a grandmother this summer. Yikes!

David said...

I got used to the idea of grandparents my own age when I moved to Our Little Town.

I was in my early 30s then.