Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Little Me 1959

I'm back from my visit to my aged mother in Massachusetts, on the first anniversary of my father's passing. During that week I worked with Brandeis University archivists collecting, classifying, and saving my father's musical works, papers, media, and correspondence. My mother and I are donating my father's archive to Brandeis, where he spent 37 years as a professor of music. 

During that time I also went through a photo archive of my baby and childhood pictures. They bring back lots of my memories as a mid-50s kid growing up in woodsy suburbs. The open places I used to play in are all overgrown with trees, brush, and weeds, which give habitat to woodland and migrating birds. 

I collected the best of these old pictures and will show some of them on Facebook, as I don't usually put photographs up on the By-Product. The picture you see above is me at age 6. It is dated on the back, by my mother, as "First day of camp, June 29, 1959." I'm in front of our house, holding a lunch box, which my father used to refer to as a "lunch pail." This was a day camp and I have some memories of it. There was a swimming pool in which I tried, unsuccessfully, to learn to swim. There were also craft things to do, such as braiding colorful plastic "gimp" twine into lanyards and bracelets. 

These photos also bring back my inner memories. What was I thinking or doing at the time? I can pretty much tell you. Super-heroes. I was into comics and costumed super-heroes very early in my life and they were my constant companions. I drew lots of comic book images and designs for super-hero characters. I used mostly colored pencil, a medium of mine you know well. It's possible that some of my hero and creature drawings are hidden in my mother's art archives, but I won't know for a while. There is a continuity of subject matter in my art from my earliest days until the present. In my mind, nothing much has changed about the kid who went to day camp in 1959.

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