Category Archives: Tales from Long Ago

Those Little Albums

Going through envelopes upon boxes upon disorganized albums of photographs can be a formidable task. Taking it bit by bit every day makes it less overwhelming.

Once upon a time, when you got your processed pictures back from, let’s say, Skrudland Photo in Chicago on Diversey Avenue, the pictures would come bound together in a little book or album. The whole roll of developed film was neatly packaged for future viewing enjoyment. I remember little family get-togethers in days past where, when everyone was done eating, and a second round of coffee or drinks was made, it was time to look at pictures and pass them around the table.

Booklet1ClosedwithCopyright

An example of the developed photographs bound into a little album.

I remember how excited we kids were when Dad would pick up the developed film and bring it home. I could hardly wait to thumb through each picture that was crisp black and white for the most part, examine familiar people and smile at events that may have well happened months or holidays prior.

Booklet1OpenedJPGwithCopyright

An album opened, showing a random pedestrian scene near Rockefeller Center in New York City, circa early 1950s.

As I keep sorting photos and putting them in new albums (and marking each with names and dates before I forget who’s who and what was when), the conundrum of what to do with those little booklets that so neatly hold photos nagged at me.

Take them apart and put each photo in the albums?

Keep them bound together and put them in the albums?

To preserve the original presentation, I decided to keep those photos that came bound from the developer as they stand. It’s best to save history, since today photos don’t come back from the developer attached in little booklets.

Heck, we hardly take pictures with cameras anymore, don’t we?

And we usually store the pictures we take today on our smart phones or on some form of electronic medium.

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


The Waterfall

“Once Valentine’s Day comes, the worst of winter is over.”

That’s something Dad would always say in the middle of those cold, snowy, bitter Chicago winters, when we kids would complain about the cold air on cloudless days and the slushy snow that froze again into small, dangerously slippery peaks on the sidewalks.

“The worst of winter is over.”

I was never a die-hard fan of winter. In fact, the only part of the season I like is the first good snowfall, Christmas vacation, and the way the snow sparkles like tiny diamonds under city street lights in the blackest of nights. The rest, I can leave: dirty, slushy streets, bitter cold air, and short days.

I was thinking about a trip I made to the Chicago Botanical Garden one early autumn day, and I found a nice picture I took of one of the waterfalls there.

waterfall-at-the-chicago-botanic-garden-2010-susan-marie-molloy

It took away my winter doldrums today, and I remembered that here it is, almost Valentine’s Day, and the month is just about half over.

Spring is approaching!

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


Warm Blankets

I was pulling the towels out of the dryer this past weekend. They were clean, fluffy and warm, and I momentarily held them against me. I remembered that when I was a kid, in the winter Ma would hang clothes on temporary clotheslines in the basement. When dry, the towels were slightly stiff, which was so different from when they hung outside in the spring and summer and the breeze kicked them around and softened them up. Some time when I was around ten years old, my parents got a dryer. It was a godsend with all the babies’ clothes and diapers to be washed, and it all could be dried any time, in any season. On particularly cold winter nights, Ma would throw our blankets in the dryer for a few minutes to warm them up right before we went to bed. Their warm snugginess made us falling asleep so much nicer, and made me fall sleep quicker in the chill of the night.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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