The Long Way Home

Winter Gifts
January 4, 2012, 6:43 AM
Filed under: Vintage Photo Album | Tags: , ,

The back of the card says, "Zuski girls/Needham and Howard Nelson" or something close to it, the writing is difficult to read. I purchased this card in Savannah a few years ago and on that 90-degree day, it gave me winter.

I’ve taken a few weeks’ break from creative pursuits to do some nesting. Making potato soup, hand-washing musty vintage dresses, eating Sheryl’s pickled turnips for breakfast right out of the jar while standing at the back door, waiting for quiet blue mornings to turn light.

I spent more time than I care to admit watching good and bad entertainment – episodes of “Ancient Aliens,” Breaking Glass and Foxes, for some late-70s nostalgia. Not all I watch is gloom and kitsch though; I have a soft spot for historical dramas, and finding Everlasting Moments was a beautiful surprise. It’s a Swedish film about a working-class Finnish woman in the early 1900s who wins a Contessa camera in a lottery. Through mothering seven children with an alcoholic husband, she finds solace in photography. The moment when her first picture turns from white paper to sepia image in the developer bath (a gorgeous shot of her shoeless, bewildered children  sitting in their tiny kitchen) made me cry a tiny joy, reminding me of that excitement I get when the image that I see in my mind can be shared with others.

This photo makes me think of that time in history when photography had an aura of magic about it.


8 Comments so far
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Great point about the aura of magic. I think that’s part of the great appeal of modern-day photo booths that use digital cameras and smartphone apps like Hipstamatic. Photos somehow mean more when there’s an element of mystery, and there’s no mistaking the mystery of actual vintage pics.


Comment by rsmithing

yes, definitely – the hipstamatic photos and photo booth pictures create that nostalgia for original film — even though some kids now, like my niece and nephews have never used a film camera.So crazy to think, it wasn’t even that long ago!


Comment by Lisa

The photos are wonderful! I remember the excitement of developing my first black and white film in the dark room I set up in my father’s barn when I was a teenager. Magic it was. Thanks for sharing these.


Comment by farmhouse stories

a darkroom in a barn – how amazing! i would (and could, as I did when I did darkroom work) have spent hours in there, lost in chemicals and paper and image.


Comment by Lisa



Comment by Photobooth Journal

thanks, katherine – happy new year to you!


Comment by Lisa

Sounds like a beautiful film. Perfect for snowy winter days like today. Oh and I love the photo studio’s logo below the second image. Looks like letterpress to me. I am a sucker for textures and I love feeling the subtle bumps of an embossed word.


Comment by motherblue212

It is a beautiful film – you’ll have to watch it. And you and Jeff are so much alike – he too loves the lettering on the frames of old photos. Sometimes he wants to buy up all the empty frames simply for their designs.


Comment by Lisa

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