A Photograph RevisitedWednesday, March 28, 2007
Sometimes I feel justified to use a photograph from a past blog.
I took this picture in 1979 when Hilary (now Hilary Stewart) was 7 and Alexandra (always Ale) was 11. The framed picture hangs on one of our stair walls and I see it every time I go down in the morning or when I visit the kitchen in the evening for a snack.
For me the photo is memorable on many levels. At the time I had given Rosemary a state-of-the-art automatic camera, a Pentax ME. I brought along all my cameras for that 1979 trip on the Royal Hudson but it was with Rosemary's ME and Kodacolor film that I snapped this photograph. It is one, of a very few group of iconic pictures that I ever took of my daughters together.
I was younger and I had no experience in being a father, in knowing what to tell them or how to help educate them. It seemed that both Rosemary and I were doing it on the fly. And we did a lot of driving.
I remember that we would pick up the girls at their French Immersion schools in Coquitlam and then drive them to their ballet and guitar (Ale) classes at the Vancouver School of Music by the Planetarium. We drove them to Burnaby's (we lived there) CG Brown Pool for swimming classes. Finally Rosemary insisted that the girls learn to ice skate and to ski. During many weekends we drove to Mt Seymour or deposited the girls at the Grouse Mountain gondola. Yet their childhood seems one big blur for me. Somehow this picture distills some of the happy moments and also suggests that we may have been on the right track.
I cannot bring those memories back. But I have happily discovered that I can relive them through my grandchildren Rebecca and Lauren. I have more patience, and this time around, I know I will not have the luxury to write here that it all, too, has become a blur in my memory. Somehow that is not only reassuring but also extremely exciting.
Here they all are although I took this in August 2003.