Monday, March 05, 2007

One foot in One foot out

Here's the thing about Wenonah in 1959. I have one foot in the future and one foot in the past. Look at Mrs. Kaufman's clothes. It could be 1899. Take a closer look at our scuffed shoes in the picture. We could be in a Walker Evans picture. Shoes scuffed and timeless. They could be the shoes of a newsboy in 1912.
They're not.
We don't know anything about our history. We're little kids in a world about to erupt in change. We play games children have played for fifty years or more. We walk streets children have walked since 1888. We're obedient. We don't know about anything beyond our town.
My father's family did what they had been doing for nearly fifty years, if not longer. Men went to work. Women stayed home. Further south of Wenonah there were farms that were farmed the same way for hundreds of years. The connection to the past was long and hard. Our values, our perspectives, our beliefs were all formed fifty or more years ago. Yes, our father's fought in World War II as their father's had fought in World War I. Yes, we hated negroes. Yes, we went to church on Sundays. Yes, we learned reading and writing and prepared for a life just like our fathers.
That was all to end.
If you could see my brother Ted's photos or my sister Mary's they'd be different. My parents changed, everything changed. There were riots. There was a war. There was rock and roll. There were drugs and sex and loud arguments. But for now we are suspended in a strange time warp.
A time warp that had to end.
Over the next 11 years the world would change in ways we didn't yet understand. For better or worse.

1 comment:

BLT said...

Great photo Jack!

And you look so happy to be in it.

We were all dressed to look like a little President Eisenhower. I am amazed that you got away without a hat in the photo!

Bob Thomas