May 26, 2015

Beefcake and Bonding in Old Photographs

I've never been interested in taking photos, not even now, when I have a telephone in my pocket that can take all the photos I want.  Who needs a moment frozen in time, so that 20 or 30 or 40 years later you can look at it and think ou sont les neiges d'antan?

This blog is all about past moments, but I'm reliving and re-invigorating them. They're not frozen.











My parents took lots of photos, and my Grandma Davis even more, and inherited others from who-knows-which dead relative.

They're not placed carefully into albums but stacked in boxes along with other mementos of yesteryear.  They like going through them and remembering.





You can't identify everyone, even when the back of the photo gives a name.  Sometimes you recognize the name of a distant cousin or grand-uncle, or someone else listed in the geneologies.  But often there are others.  Non-relatives.  Strangers intruding into the frame.

These are the ones I wonder about.

They aren't random selfies.  Someone had to buy flash bulbs and film, take the picture, then send the film to a lab to be developed and pay for the finished product.

They were deliberate.  They were important.  And someone was there.





Someone was there, at the moment in time that my grand-uncle or second cousin decided to freeze in time forever.  Someone was participating in their lives. A neighbor who happened to stop by?  A friend, met, photographed, and then abandoned. A close friend, a soul mate?

Surely some of them were gay.  This moment is but one of thousands of days, thousands of nights, thousands of memories.










No one can ever know for sure.  The relationship is lost forever, along with the names.   Only the smiles remain, the moments frozen in time.

See also: Finding the Gay Men in Old Photographs