Unit 02 Timeless Photographs……………………………19
I love to look at old photographs in the album. My father had a big box of pictures in the cabinet and some of the pictures go way back to the 1890’s. The women dressed with such dignity and had style back then. My Dad would linger around his precious box of photographs and tell me stories about each photo and very one. It was one of those moments that you could not really appreciate when you were young. It is only after he was long gone that I can look back and say thanks for taking the time to show me a tiny window into the world of people who really did know how to live.
I found a few of my aunts in their fashionable outfits by an old Cadillac(卡迪拉克，汽车名) pretending to drink whisky. Many of the photographs were taken in Coney Island(科尼岛) and Cape Cod(科德角). I especially love the photographs of the bathing beauties and their swimsuits. The suits are quite modest by today’s standards but the young women didn’t seem to care. They were staying at such places as Newport Beach and Cape Cod having the time of their lives running in and out of the tide. One photograph had a vendor(小贩)selling dogs(热狗)by a coaster(轮船)at Coney Island— a younger picture of my mother with here brown hair and blue eyes eager to go on board with my Dad. He looked a bit frightened in the picture as I could see he was holding on tightly to the bar to the coaster, his black hair flying in the breeze. I smile when I look at that picture because it is hard to imagine anyone’s Dad ever being a kid. He looked like he was having a great time probably because he was with my mother. She is smiling in the picture and wearing a white blouse, blue shorts and tennis shoes. She is quite a looker(美女),I can see why my Dad liked her so much.
I dig down to the bottom of the box and see two large photographs. One is dated 1900 and the other one is dated 1997—a recent picture that looks similar to the older one. The older picture looks familiar because it is taken in the same place—the summer home.
I will describe the older photograph as very interesting in the style of dress and exactly(确切地，精确地) where the people are sitting. They are posed outside the cottage by a small tree that is still there today. A woman is sitting in a rocking chair, with here black hair pulled up in a bun(脑后的发髻).She is not smiling but looking away from the camera and wearing a long black dress. Another woman is wearing a white blouse with a necktie(领结)and a long black skirt. Her hair is also long and blonder(金黄色的)but pulled back in a bun. There are two men on either side of a wooden table. Both men appear older and are dressed in hats and suits and ties, trousers and Sunday shoes. Neither is smiling. (I have the distinct feeling that the women are their wives and it is Sunday.) They probably are hungry for their roast beef and potatoes, but that is just my guess. There is a young boy, probably about 13 in the photograph. He is wearing a white blouse, black shorts, long black socks and tan sports shoes. He is petting a black dog that is sitting on top of the round wooden table. The boy is bending down and he isn’t smiling either. It must have been hot outside and he probably wants to go for a swim with the dog. The water is just below them and he is probably wondering why he has to take this stupid picture all dressed up on a Sunday.
I notice that the color of my cabin was quite different in 1900 and it was much smaller. The color was green, with white railings(栏杆)around the porch and steps leading down to the patio(院子). That is where the picture of this Smart Family was taken. The family appears rather stiff in the photo but I am sure that they had a good laugh after the Sunday dinner was served.
The second larger photograph is of my own family about 1997. It is also in black and white. We didn’t wear any older clothes but used our own clothes. The tree in the background has grown to enormous heights and is still standing. The steps leading down to Mousam Lake have cracked and are in awful need of repair. Believe it or not, we still own the old wooden table and all of the rocking chairs owned by the Smart Family. I did a search of the Smart Family and they were originally from Portsmouth(朴茨茅斯). At least five other families owned my cottage before my father bought it in 1950 for three thousand dollars. The cottage comes with thirteen acres of land that I still own along with my seven brothers and sisters. It was passed on to me when my mother died. We have formed the Camp Fund to pay the taxes and preserve our legacy. It is a beautiful cabin on a prime spot on Mousam Lake. I was not here when this photo was taken and it hangs in the living room of the cabin. Many visitors comment on it and think it is quite amazing to have a house for so long.
The history of the house is interesting to view from photographs. Around the table are my brother Bob just wearing a casual shirt and shorts(smiling), Annie wearing a T- Shirt and shorts. Mike wearing a white shirt and long nylon trousers not smiling, Mary, whom I couldn’t tell what she was wearing, my Mom, her white hair and her beautiful blue eyes and smile, was wearing a peach blouse and slacks, my Dad wasn’t alive for this photo, he died in 1986. Lastly in the picture is my brother John, wearing a white vest, trousers and suspenders. He slicked(使光滑、顺滑)back his black hair for the photo to appear in the period style. He wasn’t smiling either. The only difference is that my cottage is painted brown with a larger porch and some additional buildings. My father loved to build things and he was constantly improving the cabin. He built a deck downstairs, and also a dock for his many boats. He also designed a gliding swing and a picnic table.
All of these photographs remind me that people are not so very different. We all want to enjoy living and be together as a family. The time that families spend together is very valuable. The children will always remember the little things that their parents do for them. For me it was my Dad that showed me these pictures and took the time to tell me the stories behind each of them. I thank him dearly for that.