Sunday, April 1, 2012

BACK WHEN

Found this old snapshot of me holding one of my older children not long after their birth. Not sure if it's my daughter Caitlin or older son Miles, though I suspect it's the latter. What interests me is the boho bookcases of bricks and boards that had been a domestic staple for decades by then (this was the late 1960s), with, I can spot relatively clearly, some paperback Beckett books like WATT, almost an obsession in those days, and the ubiquitous rocking chair, my main seat in every home I lived in for decades (we'd always sell whatever furniture we'd collected or picked up from discards or bought at Salvation Army when we moved and hit the same haunts for new furniture wherever we landed) and the sibling connections like the framed temple wall rubbing down the hallway my oldest sister brought back from a trip with her policeman husband one year (actually that hallway pretty much determines it's Miles) and the sweater I'm wearing that was a hand me down from my oldest brother from the late 1930s early '40s that I inherited in the '60s (and still have today! [woops, blew it up and looked closer and I'm NOT even wearing that sweater, just thought I was, same colors etc.).

Life was incredibly challenging as were the times and yet in an old photo like this it seems like it was not only so much simpler (true enough in technical ways) but almost halcyon days. But digging deeper into the historical archives proves not necessarily. As I think Borges put it, more or less, everyone is born into tough times. And as experience teaches, all times are both "good" and "bad" (since each term depends upon the other or is meaningless) just like today.

Anyway, here 'tis:

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darling photo. By the way, is that the apartment I took over?
Suzanne

April 1, 2012 at 11:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lally said...

I don't think so. What tipped me off is the bare wall in the hall. Miles was born in late November 1969 and we had just moved into this apartment and didn't have the usual on the walls except for that framed temple rubbing. If it was the apartment you took over there should be a Procul Harem poster hanging on that wall plus other stuff.

April 2, 2012 at 8:31:00 AM EDT  
Blogger -K- said...

I don't think I ever lived in an apartment that didn't have brick bookcases.

April 2, 2012 at 12:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lally said...

My oldest son Miles said "great child proofing" and yet he and his sister never pulled the books or boards or bricks down.

April 2, 2012 at 1:55:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Michael.....Miles and Caitlin were the cutest kids I knew in those days.....hope you and they are doing well...your new son Finn must be getting up there in age now....take care, my friend.....Michael Ferri

April 2, 2012 at 11:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lally said...

Same to you Michael and yes Cait and Miles are great and Flynn (a lot of folks make that mistake) is now fourteen!

April 3, 2012 at 12:12:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous jim said...

Yeah, funny how those old days are always "the good old days". Everything softens up in memory and retrospect. I've had an ongoing fascination with NYC history at the turn of the century. And that certainly wasn't a easier life. I think there is some idyllic romanticism that most of us fall prey to when looking back. There may be some truths buried in there: stress levels may have been down as modes of communication were slower and more local, and at some point our entire existences were more local, which could have been a good thing, all depending on how well you got along with your neighbors. In any case, even if it was a fleeting moment at that time, you do look content in the picture.

April 4, 2012 at 2:24:00 PM EDT  

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