I love being a writer. I believe it’s the thing I was put on this earth to do. But if I weren’t a writer, I’d be a photographer . . . Well, a photographer and a restorer of old houses. I suppose my interest in photography isn’t that surprising. There’s that same narrative quality, the same interest in capturing and preserving a moment. I love going back to a favorite book or a favorite photograph and being reminded of an old feeling.
Years ago, I took a photography class at the local junior college. I’d rush home from work, change my clothes, and zip down there to spend three hours in a drafty classroom. That was in the days before everything went digital, so we learned about shutter speeds, apertures, and spent a good deal of time in the darkroom. I loved it, but I didn’t put in the time to get really good. I’d started taking my writing more seriously, and for some reason, didn’t believe I could juggle the two. But I never stopped loving the medium. I still love going to exhibits. I keep two photography books in my office: the first is a book of Eudora Welty photographs, the second is the collected works of Dorothea Lang. Sometimes, when I’m writing, I’ll take a moment to flip through those books. The images are all black and white, all from the twenties and thirties, but there’s something timeless and familiar about them.
Lately, I’ve started collecting vintage photographs. Most of the images are small–no larger than a 3×5 index card–but occasionally I’ll find one that’s a little larger. One advantage to collecting vintage photographs is that they tend to be affordable. Here are my two latest finds. Eventually, I’d like to reframe them.
Both of these photographs were taken in the twenties. I found them on a great website called labonnevivante.com. I had some trouble ordering them online so I called Michele, the owner, and we talked for a few minutes. We both agreed that we loved the way the boys are dressed. Wouldn’t it be great if young boys wore wool knockers and lace up boots instead of those awful saggy jeans?