Take a picture and it will last much longer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2007

My husband has a project underway at our house. He's been scanning in some of the thousands of photos we've collected over the years to put on CDs for family members. It will take a while to get it all sorted, but it's coming along.

I watched one of the first CDs the other night. I smiled, chuckled, and felt a tad teary at times as I saw family members grow up, grow old; beloved pets who have gone on their heavenly rewards; the first house we owned as newlyweds (I wonder what it looks like now and what the people are like who live there). I sniggered at the fashions and hairstyles of years gone by (yes, I once sported a curly mullet).

Remember the square and rectangular black and white photos with the rippled edges made with the trusty old Kodak Brownie camera?

There's my oldest sister, just a baby, arms upraised, sitting in the center of a basket overflowing with cotton from the farm circa 1951; there's me, chubby, bald and bare of bottom (and everywhere else), the requisite naked-baby-on-the-bearskin-rug shot circa 1960 - my one, and thank heavens, my only, nudie shot.

Here are photos of my two sisters in their shorts and sunglasses, smiling as they pose on the beach in front of Georgian Terrace in Florida; my mother in her modest one-piece bathing suit, stretched out on the lounger with yours truly, then a five-year-old girl with a long, blonde ponytail, arms akimbo, standing beside her. There are also photos of my sisters, bathing suits and bathing caps in place, laughing as they frolic in the surf and play in the motel's swimming pool.

Not me. My &#8220Future Miss America” suit was never touched by chlorine or salt water, since I was terrified of the wet stuff. There I am in a couple of shots, looking dubiously at the pool, stretching my toes out just enough to barely baptize them. Thank goodness I got over that fear or I might be avoiding daily showers to this day.

Fast forward to 20 years later, when Benny and I adopted a dog, a small buff-colored Cock-a-Poo Terrier named &#8220Greedy,” from the animal shelter in Rapid City, S.D.  With that blend of canines, it was no surprise he was a nervous little mutt.

 Bless his heart, he would quake like one of the aspens in our front yard at the first evidence a bath was coming (then happily snort and frisk about the place once the deed was done). Once he yapped his head off at a perfectly innocent clothesbasket sitting at the top of the stairs. Go figure.

There Greedy is in photos, posing on those same stairs, wearing one of his winter sweaters. Greedy went on to live several happy, spoiled years with my in-laws in Greenville, and was later adopted by neighbors who dubbed him &#8220Sparky” and adored and further spoiled him until his death from cancer.

Considering the sad fate that awaited him at the animal shelter back in S.D., I would say that was one lucky little dog.

There were photos of our cats, the late and lamented Smokie, Ginger and Mary Ann; family shots in front of the fireplace decorated for Christmas; my dad, his feed cap still on his head, fast asleep in his green recliner in the old farmhouse. So many memories.

We can't actually turn back time, but the photos and videos we take can certainly bring the people and places back to us.

So consider taking a picture: it really will last longer.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.