Saturday, February 1, 2014

Misty Watercolor Memories

Last night Karen and I dug through a few boxes of old photos, looking for one event in particular but finding much more than we counted on. We probably hadn't looked through these pictures in 20 years. Most of them covered our lives roughly between college and babies, which in retrospect wasn't as long as it seemed at the time.

In addition to asking each other "Who is that?" and replying "I have no idea," we dug up some gems. I don't know if these'll be anything but tedious to anyone except me, but I wanted to post a few. My rule is that I won't embarrass anybody but myself, so all my friends and family who I have compromising pictures of can rest easy. Once you see these photos, you'll know me as well as people who've known me for 35 years....

Renaissance Faire geek, age 17ish. My costume doesn't look like much but my gang of friends and I comprised a very impressive court, in which I played a lowly page (in fact, the Yellow Page; that's a joke). This is the part where I don't embarrass my friends by posting their pictures. The deal was that if you dressed appropriately and worked a booth for half a day, you could get into the Faire free. Nice deal! I still have the puffy shirt.
Astronomy geek, age 20 to 23ish. This was in my university's small observatory, where I did a little research with a mentor and ran the public viewing program for a couple of years. It got cold up there!
Double-decker bus geek, age 20 to 23. You may sense a theme emerging. One of my jobs in college was driving these authentic London double-deckers in a student-operated city transit system. In some ways, I still consider it the best job I ever had--although the towel I'm sitting on reminds me how hot it could get in that little cab over the engine with no air conditioning (the towel keeps the next driver from sitting in your sweat puddle). 
Luckily, cute chicks dig geeks. Here I'm 23 and it's nearly graduation. I can tell because I swapped my mortarboard for a straw bonnet belonging to the lovely young lady who was my girlfriend at the time, who later became my wife for all time. "No, don't leave college, never grow up!" I shout in vain through my monitor. Dumb kids. Also: cotton sundresses. That's all I'm saying.
My first job out of college was as a cub reporter for a small daily newspaper. High-tech VDTs! Note the emergency typewriter standing by just in case. This is actually the main newsroom at the home office; my first full-time job was in a basement corner of a tiny satellite office that we had to evacuate when the fumes from the darkroom (i.e., converted bathroom) got too strong. I'm 24 or 25.
Young dad. Very young dad. 31? I still have that tie and shirt, and maybe the belt. I think I need to go shopping.
Finally, for friends and fans of my Mom, this was shot when I accompanied her to Rapid City, South Dakota for her 25th high school reunion. I was 24, she was 44. 

History. Sometimes it kicks you in the teeth, and sometimes it helps you to your feet. It's a volatile companion but usually welcome. Thanks for indulging me.


Linda Wilhelm said...

I recognized the Renn Faire. I still have my puffy shirt too from working the info booth the summer between my junior and senior year of HS. Gads, we were probably their at th same time.

Great photos. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Wilhelm said...

*Blush* I just saw all my typos and grammar errors and I can't figure out how to edit my comment. *head hanging in shame*

Brian Fies said...

Linda, no harm! I'm sure you were typing while grading papers, drafting lesson plans, and rescuing orphans from a burning building. "My" Renn Faire was the one in Marin at Black Point, sound about right? It'd be wild if we really were there together.

Karen M said...

I remember the Renaissance Fair, but not sure if I worked. Becky and I wore our lady in waiting outfits that Jim S fixed up for us. If you had a picture of me, I'd love to see it. I apparently didn't take any pictures during that time of my life!

Brian Fies said...

Karen, I just sent you the only group photo I have via private Facebook message. I would have sent it to you sooner except I didn't notice you were in it--you're well hidden! But I like your purple pointy hat.