After the grapes were all in and the raisins were picked up, boxed, and hauled away, my father’s attention turned to fall cleanup and house-painting chores. Always busy, everything in its right time and season. Oil-based, lead-based work. Paint thinner. Fumes. Open windows. Worried flies. The kitchen walls, the washroom — they stand out, as does the hat rack his older brother built before he was killed in the war. […]
Tag Archive for ‘Old Photographs’
These days, my hair and beard are long — depending on the light, home to an early winter, or to all four seasons at once, like one of Gramp’s old work shirts, blossom, grape, earth, leaf, frost. I practice simple daily cleanliness, wear clothes to match, and which require almost no closet space. And so I wonder — is my natural unadorned appearance a public invitation to set aside what’s […]
This picture was taken by a late writer-friend, Tim Hinshaw, to accompany my first published story, “Naneh’s Melon Thieves,” which appeared twenty-one years ago in Ararat Quarterly. The print was given to me in 2010 by Tim’s son after his father’s memorial service. The scene is Liberty Street, in downtown Salem. I’m looking west. Some thugs had just stepped off a city bus. Present and accounted for, I was ready […]
I posted an old family photograph earlier this morning, and I think I will post another tomorrow. All in the balance of things. But in between, there is always desire — what it is, and what it does and doesn’t mean. Desire Inside the flower, down the stem, into the roots — a dark hum: that’s where we learn about desire, that’s where the sun can’t hear what we’re […]
I know little about Eliza, except that she was my mother’s mother’s mother, and that her husband, Henry, who was born in 1835 and much older, died after a fall from a horse. This picture of her was taken when she was sixteen, around 1880 or a little before. My guess is that it was done somewhere in the East, before she and Henry settled in California’s gold country. After […]
This is my father’s father, from a large photo-portrait taken when he was twelve, about two years after his arrival in this country. Since to a surprising degree this picture shows the way I think, I might attempt more of these strange collages.
Penny Thoughts and Photographs, August 6, 2009