Wednesday, June 9, 2010


When I go to antique stores, of course, I always head straight for the clothes. That is probably no surprise - after all, I collect vintage clothes. I am fascinated by them. I love to put them on. I love to touch them, to examine them, to get little clues as to who once owned and loved them.

But my second love - the spark that fuels my writer's imagination at least as much as the clothes - are the photos. When I discover a drawer full of photographs at an antique store, I am suddenly endowed with more patience than I've ever possessed in my life. I can take hours just sitting on the dusty floor, sifting through the piles and piles of photos and memories interspersed with each other.

It makes me sad that no one wanted these keepsakes anymore. They must have meant so much to someone once.

But as the saying goes, their loss is our gain. There is so much to wonder: how many different lives are represented by these photographs? What memories are attached to them?

It is for that reason that I so adore the photo I posted above. I was first drawn to it because, for some reason, the girls reminded me of Esther and myself. I then noticed and loved their dresses. I would have put it back in the pile, but then I saw that one word: "Remember?"

And I wanted to remember. I wanted to know what it was that they had done that day that was so memorable. Their smiles seem to be holding back a delightful secret, the contents of which I can only guess. I knew I had to buy the photo, and it was mine, for just a quarter. A cheap price for such a treasure.

On my most recent trip, I discovered this gentleman:

I couldn't believe no one else had snapped it up first. It's gorgeous, isn't it? I love his books, his postcards, his toy airplane. I love his mysterious, haughty expression. I feel so honored to be brought into his world, in this small way.

All this talk of photographs got me thinking. I plan to keep all of my parents' and grandparents' photographs; I'm lucky enough to have some very old photo albums, including the album from my grandparents' first few years of marriage. My mom has been talking about getting those photos scanned so we can save them. So I think I'm going to make this a regular feature - old photographs. In some cases, they will be strangers, like these three. In many other cases, though, they will be people very dear to me, many of whom I never got to know.

So, I hope you enjoyed this first installment. I am quite excited about this; the thought of being connected to the past thrills me.

Much love,

(p.s. - Don't forget that the Owl Eyes Boutique is now open!)


kater said...

I get so sad about vintage and antique photos! With several family members passing away this year, we've come to look at them a lot, and I can't help but think that generations down these images that matter so much to me and my family now will be anonymous later.

So I always scoop them up and try to love them!

MarieBayArea said...
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Princess Frivolous said...

Such beautiful photographs! I haven't come across many in my op shop and antique searches. Only one, actually.

I could never imagine seperating from any old photographs or portraits of my family members and friends. These are insights to different worlds that should be treasured. :)

Becky said...

Oh, he's so handsome!

Fear is a Dirty Word said...

Wow I feel like these exact words could have come out of my mouth. I am so in love with old photographs, I find them so intriguing. Lovely post!
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