Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Remembering My Dad on His Birthday

 My dad was a shutterbug. He loved cameras, he loved film, and he loved taking pictures of family activities - holidays, birthdays, vacations.
He took some great photos, and our family is very lucky that he was so diligent in recording so many great memories. But, as with any shutterbug, Dad was hardly ever in any of the photos himself.

Except at Christmas.

Every year, without fail, Dad got out his tripod, screwed on the Minolta and flash, and directed us to stand in front of the fireplace for the annual Family Photo. This was usually on Christmas Day afternoon, after we'd had a big dinner. For many years, there were grandparents there, sitting on the couch, watching the photo shoot.

It seemed, to my young mind, like taking this photo lasted for hours. We never got it in one "take." And it was tricky, because Dad would set the timer on his camera, press the shutter, then run over and get in position. It must have been funny to watch.

We always took multiple shots, because in those pre-digital days, you didn't know what you had until the pictures (or slides, in our case) came back from the Foto-Mat.

At one point we began including the family pets in the photo, which got more challenging as a cat, and then a hamster, joined the family dog. In the photo above, you can see that Tiger the cat is keeping a sharp eye on my sister Lisa's hamster (Freddy?). Sandy, the dog, had too much hair to be able to see either the cat or the hamster.

I'm glad Dad took these pictures, and I'm glad my Mom has begun scanning all the old 35mm slides my Dad took back then.

Happy Birthday, Dad. We miss you.

Postscript: My dad would have been 69 today; he died in 2006. Here are two previous remembrances:


Sheilagh Lee said...

I'm so sorry you lost your Dad so young .It's hard I felt cheated when I lost my Dad at 73 but the photos and the stories we have of him still keep him alive in our minds. funny thing I hadn't seen my younger brother in a year and in one year he now looks so much like my Dad when I was a teen that it is scary.

TodBryant said...

Thank you.