Malachi's Promise "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers...." Malachi 4:6

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Refreshing an Indelible Image - A Sepia Saturday Celebration Repost

Fanfare, please!  Sepia Saturday is celebrating its 200th round today and those of us who have participated during that time are celebrating, too, by reposting one of our favorite, earlier Sepia Saturday posts.  I first participated in May, 2010, and have published over 60 posts, which makes it terribly hard to choose a favorite.  In the early years there were no themes (such fun that way!):  we just chose a photo from our collection and wrote about it, then linked up.  Thank you to Alan and Kat for creating Sepia Saturday and to Alan and Marilyn for keeping it going.  It's been fun.

But back to the subject at hand:  which post to repost for this celebration?  The post about the clocks in our home?  The one about my great-grandfather's confectionery?  About the student nurses?  About my grandmother and her lovely waistMy father as a young man?  None of those, after all.  It's this one:  a moment in time, an action repeated time and again.

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In my life there have been events that were continually repeated, events I saw so often that I learned them by heart and they became indelible images in my brain.  I begin to notice, as time passes and I grow older, that a light fog sometimes comes between me and the memories.  And then I see a photograph and the scene is as fresh as the last time I saw it in real life.

Our house was a house of order and part of that order was this closet in our kitchen next to the back door.  As soon as we came in the house, we hung our coats and put our hats and mittens on the shelf, ready to wear them when we left again.  My mother also stored large, lidded metal cans of sugar and flour in this closet, ready to refill her canisters on the kitchen counter.  In the fall, there were always bags of Northern Spy apples sitting on the floor of the closet.  They stayed cool and fresh there because the unheated closet was against two outside walls.  Apples were our after-school snack -- our only after-school snack.  So "you won't spoil your dinner," my mother used to say.

This is my father, Lee Doyle, standing in front of the closet getting ready to leave.  Dad always wore a hat when he went outside:  summer, winter, rain, snow, heat, humidity, he always wore a hat, though not always the same hat.  In summer he wore straw or cotton.  In winter he wore felt or wool.  His work hats were caps with a brim on the front.  He wore those to work at Copperweld Steel or when he was working at home cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn, or painting the house.  Otherwise, his hats were always grey or black fedoras.  When he was younger the brims were wider; as he grew older, he chose hats with slightly narrower brims (as in this photo).  His hats had no feathers.

He took the jacket or coat out of the closet, put it on, adjusted it, then zipped it.  Or if it was a sweater, he buttoned it.  When he put on his hat I remember him adjusting it just so:  it didn't perch, neither did it sit too low, but it was low enough and tight enough that the wind didn't blow it off.  He took the car keys from on top of the refrigerator (to the left in this photograph) and then out the door to the car or the garage or to walk to the post office he went.  I suspect that because it was April when this photo was taken, it was warm enough outside that he didn't need a jacket.

Things we see thousands of times we learn by heart.  By heart I remember my father putting on his jacket and hat.  What a commonplace thing to remember.  What a commonplace thing to photograph!  And yet it brings pleasure -- and sometimes just a touch of melancholy -- to clear the fog and refresh my memory of that small action.

Join the celebration and visit other Sepia Saturday posts.

--Nancy.
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38 comments:

  1. Oh, good choice. Beautifully written and a great photo.

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  2. I didn't see this the first time. Perfect choice. I love the opening paragraph -- it captures exactly why I love participating in Sepia Saturday: the revival of memories. Your description of your dad makes me see him too. (And by the way, that was slick how you sneaked a bunch of posts into this one -- wish I had thought of it. LOL)

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. Well, I just couldn't decide which post to use: go for the best photo, the strongest memory, the most popular.... I think I linked them more for me as I was trying to decide than assuming others would use the links.

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  3. I Love This Post.Dont know why,it reminds me of a Raymond Carver adventure......Get Ahead Get A Hat!

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    1. Thanks, Tony. I don't know Raymond Carver. I'll have to check him out.

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  4. A great post, I really enjoying reading it. I agree with Wendy, when I saw your opening, I thought "darn I should have done that!!!!".

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    1. Thanks, Jackie. Oh, go back and add links to your other favorites. Some of us who haven't been doing Sepia Saturday every week will probably read them!

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  5. So well written. Goes to show that a good writer can make even the ordinary events of a day, extraordinary in the telling.

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    1. Thank you for those kind words, Helen. I appreciate them.

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  6. I agree with Helen, this is so well written, and works so well. In fact, you have me picturing my own father standing next to the closet by our front door, doing up HIS coat, and putting on HIS hat. You are so right; the pleasure is immense. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you, Kat. Maybe someone took a photo of your father putting on his coat and hat -- or doing some other activity that he repeated frequently.

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  7. A most enjoyable post. I hadn't realized that themes weren't always used. Personally I like the theme method.

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    1. Thanks, Boundforoz. I think themes are great for those who would prefer them but I'm less interested in reading 30 or 40 posts about the same topic in one week. Just personal preference, I guess. Thanks for visiting.

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  8. This is new to me too Nancy but I’m so glad you re-posted it. It’s the perfect blend of photo and memory and so well written too.

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  9. Your dad looks sharp in that hat. Great post for Sepia Saturday 200!

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  10. I had not seen this before. Many of the things you mention could apply to us/me and our utility room. This houses our apples (hundreds, currently) my outdoor jacket and hat for gardening. Perhaps I should photograph them too. Loved this piece.

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    1. It's interesting how Sepia Saturday contributors have similarities in experience or environment and can connect in different ways. Will you make applesauce? Yes, I think you should have someone take a photo of YOU in your utility room, Bob!

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  11. What a sweet memory - obviously kept close to your heart. Those are the things that are so much fun to enjoy. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Thanks for your comment and visit, Karen.

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  12. A beautiful essay on memory and a vintage photo. It proves even snapshots can have power and art for those who know what to see.

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  13. A great post about your father, and I like his hat, it's a great picture. A perfect choice for our book!

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    1. Thanks, Karen. It's strange to look at it again and see that narrow brim. And yet, it's strange to see men wearing hats. They just don't do it much these days.

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  14. A man with a hat for all seasons! I like that. Excellent choice of post, Nancy. Really enjoyed it.

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  15. Oh yes it is so true, that these old photos revitalize our memories. This is a very good black and white photo and I enjoyed reading about "order" too. A good choice for this special week.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. I guess revitalizing memories is what photos are all about, aren't they? When we take a photo we're thinking about the moment but also thinking about the future when we want to remember the moment and see it again.

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  16. It is a great thing to remember. My dad always wore a farmer's hat except in his early years had a dress hat for funeral. I never knew what happened to that hat but his nontanned forehead was always there when we took inside pictures of him. A fun blog even remembering the storage of the supplies.

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    1. Hi, Larry. I forgot about the untanned forehead! I'm sure my father's was the same. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

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  17. There are so many posts I've never seen as I've only participated this year - so glad Alan had this idea so I can read great posts, and memories like this.

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    1. Yes, Jackie, I think older participants who aren't so regular any more have missed posts by the newer participants like you, and vice versa (as you say). It's been fun to meet some of you newer posters. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

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  18. Seemingly insignificant things like that can still manage to tickle our comfort zones.

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    1. It's true. It happens especially when I see an unposed photograph of "home." Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

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  19. I wonder who thought to take that photo. I'm so glad they did. I'm sure it has brought so many seemingly simple moments to all our memories. I can see my father now, not usually in a hat, but striding down the street off to work...always whistling.
    Barbara

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  20. Such a picture brings pleasure for the familiar behavior depicted of loved ones
    in a context that is reassuring. Glad you shared this.
    As I'm getting older, I also favor hats with narrower brims.
    Why is that, I wonder?!?
    :D~
    HUGZ

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I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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