Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Doo, doo, doo, Lookin' out my back door…
(Part II)

More Pics
Another few images from the archives. Again, these are just random shots I pulled out while collecting photos to be used in my next story series, coming possibly tomorrow, but most likely Thursday. Please forgive me for a few minutes while I wax nostalgic...

Click on the photos to view them at a larger size.

Michelle, my belle
This shot is pure self-indulgence for me. This picture literally makes me melt every time I look at it. How could anyone not fall in love with that face? This was taken at a back yard barbecue at the in-laws house in SoCal, sometime late in the summer of 1980, about a year and a half after we were married. I know this because the set of pictures it came from included several in which I had been testing out my new Canon AE-1 camera that Michelle had gotten me for my birthday that year.

This is quite possibly the quintessential shot of Michelle in my mind. The smile that could launch a thousand ships; those funky large-lens glasses that were so popular back then; and her wonderful signature, that gorgeous head of wild, curly hair. Her Dad, a big Southern bear of a man, who always seemed to love to playfully antagonize her back then, hated the hairstyle. His infamous line about her hair was that it reminded him of "the north end of a south-bound poodle."

The dress she's wearing is also a hallmark of her look in those years. It's a full-length white cotton Mexican peasant-type dress, with colorfully embroidered flowers across the bodice and shoulders. She had gotten it in Tijuana not long before I met her. She loved that dress and I loved looking at her wearing it.

There was just something so comfortable about the juxtaposition of the post-hippy-to-new wave fashion of the late-70s and early 80s. It is roundly belittled now, but at least it wasn't boring. The latitude of contrasting styles back then made it relatively easy to have one’s own "look" without necessarily looking like a freak. I suppose everyone naturally gravitates toward the norms of the time in life when in which they felt their youngest and most alive. And even though I feel pretty good about who I am today, I have to admit, the late 70s-early 80s were indeed my time — and always will be.

Jack’s Wedding
The year 1979 was an important one in my family. Amongst my four brothers and me, three of us got married that year, including myself. My wedding was in March, eldest brother Jack followed in April, and youngest brother, Lbro, in August. We all celebrated our respective 25th wedding anniversaries this year.

left to right: Jack, David, TK, AJ, and Lbro

What a great moment that was! This was the only time in our adult lives that all five of us would spend any concentrated time together, completely intact physically. David, who was 30 years old at the time of this photo, would begin displaying symptoms of Alzheimer's disease a little less than nine years later.

Big D
Finally, speaking of my big bro, a little more than ten years later, August 1989, we had our momentous family reunion in Telluride, Colorado.

This is the lasting image I have of David. Still lucid for the most part, but beginning to have problems, and trying so very hard not to show it. This photo simultaneously warms and haunts me. The playfully carefree demeanor he displays is exactly who he was, yet in his eyes, the life was beginning to fade. I know I'm reading more into it than the photo actually shows, but for me, this one really captures his essence from that time.

The next big thing
Sorry for the tease, but there's lots more early 80s faire to come. My next story will be about one of the greatest experiences of my lifetime, and I can't wait to share it. There will be more pictures of bad fashion and hairstyles, so get ready to snicker (um...except for Snick, cuz she does that all the time anyway — I think it goes with the name...). Look for it Thursday morning.

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