Thursday, August 31, 2006

"now, everyone look at the sun!"

I remember my great-grandmother's camera. She would hold it in front of her, looking down through the viewfinder on the top of the camera. When she got it, someone must have told her to have her subjects facing the sun. Her interpretation was to say, just before taking the picture, "Now, everyone look at the sun!" My great-grandmother had lots of pictures of squinting, teary-eyed relatives.
About a year before she died, my grandmother sent me this photo of her sisters and herself (taken on her 10th birthday). My grandmother, Lydia's namesake, is on the left. She had always told me that my Clara reminded her so much of her little sister, Jo: brown hair, brown eyes, freckles and full of mischief. That's her, second from the left. I have to say I can see what she meant. Look at the four sisters, lined up all nicely. Jo's collar is askew, her head is tipped and she's holding her hem like she's ready to bolt.
I have to laugh when I look at this picture, taken 61 years, to the day, before my Clara was born. I can hear my great-grandmother's voice directing her girls to look at the sun...and there they are, her four girls...squinting, pupils drawn down into tight little dots.

My grandmother, Lydia


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