Saturday, April 5, 2008
I have the ideal relationship with my local consignment shop. Jone and Larry, the owners, always greet me with a smile, an offer of a cup of coffee, and as often as not they hand me money for the little things I have taken there to be sold. I love loitering by the counter, chatting with the other regulars, catching up on local news, and browsing through the dolls, housewares, books, and general odds and ends the shop features.
It took me a while though to see what a treasure trove it is of paper ephemera, old pamplets, magazines, and photographs. Lately I take my coffee to a file drawer in the back room and riffle through the old black and white photos. It's sad, all these snapshots of friends, family gatherings, soldiers with their parents or sweethearts, children. None of them is identified with a name, a year, or anything to suggest who these people are. I like to adopt pictures now and then, take them home, scan them, crop the images, and then see if I can draw the scenes. Their smiles, their clothing, their poses all speak to me. Scanned and enlarged the photos suddenly are easier to see, the people clearer and somehow more familiar. I hope to do a series of these unknown people from times past, and bring them out of the darkness of the back room file drawer.