And I thought weeding out my book collection so that I would use only one bookcase was a tough job. Now I’m onto an even more daunting job: doing something about my many – I’m embarrassed to say exactly how many – photo albums filled before the advent of Picassa. I decided I would eventually get a scanner , and in preparation for that event would take a dozen or so key photos out of each album and toss the rest of the album. That was not terribly difficult to do with the first few albums.
My daughter Mary-Ellen and I went to England, Scotland, and Wales in 1985 and made the grievous error of throwing the photos in a desk drawer without labeling them. About six years later when we tried to label them, one of us would hold up a photo, and the other would say, laughingly, “Don’t know. It’s some castle, or it’s some church.” But we put them in an album anyway. Tossing most of those pictures was easy. I saved a picture of Mary-Ellen in front of Stonehenge and another of her standing on Hadrian’s wall. But four photos told a story that still makes us dissolve into laughter. We were in the Lake District of England and checked into a hotel where we received a room assignment and a hotel key. When we got to the place in the corridor that had signs pointing to rooms, the left arrow pointed to 3-6 and the right arrow to 8-10. We were room 7 . We were told to look down a flight of stairs, and there, in a back alley, was our luggage in front of the one door in the alley. We returned to the front desk and said we would not feel safe in such an isolated room. No problem. They gave us a key to another room, moved our luggage, and we went in and immediately decided to lie down for a nap. I think we were just about to fall asleep when we heard a key in the lock and people walked in. We pulled the covers up over our heads and probably screamed a bit. Yup, they had given the room to others as well. By then we were laughing hysterically. So though it is an incident we are not likely to forget, I wanted the pictures of the signs and the luggage in a court yard to document it.
Several other travel albums were easy to dispatch. If the picture looked like a familiar postcard or everyone else’s photo shot, the picture did not make the cut. From each I saved maybe three or four photos showing people traveling with me in front of famous sites.
The real dilemma came when I hit the albums of pictures of friends, and then, even more difficult, my grandchildren. How could I possibly toss a picture from such an album? So back it went on the shelf, a winter project for once I get the scanner and have plenty of time.
Dorothy C. Judd © 2016
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