1986 Was A Good Year For Snaps & Growing HedgesThursday, May 14, 2009
Of late Rosemary and I have been filing our family pictures. Until Rebecca was born 11 years ago our files were loose in groups called "early 70s" or "early 80s". But as soon are Rebecca came along and then Lauren I began to take so many pictures that we have now filed them under spicific years. As we file we find pictures that I took that I forgot I took, or I simply never had the time or inclination to go down to the basement to my darkroom to print. Some of those pictures are a revelation and a joy to me.
In 1986 business was good for me. I was working for tons of magazines and there were tons of business magazines across Canada. I was working for all of them. My shrewd wife decided we should move from our comfortable townhouse in Burnaby that had a little garden. “I want to live in a nice house with a real garden,” she told me. She made us move to our present location on Athlone Street in Kerrisdale in 1986. In 1986 I was yet to be jaded by the idea that I should only take pictures for money. So I took quite a few pictures of my daughters Hilary and Ale. The picture of our house shows it in a very early stage when we still had not worked on the garden. We were completely ignorant. Ale had a boyfriend who had a farm in Ladner. He brought us a pile of horse manure one day. I actually, in complete ignorance, manured the laurel hedge you see here not knowing he work that lay ahead to prune it. That hedge wraps around on the right and goes halfway down the boulevard. As my Spanish grandmother would have said, “Ignorance is daring.”
The picture of Hilary (in b+w) has her on the wooden floor of the living room. Next to her was our first Canadian cat, Gaticuchi. Hilary looks beautiful and relaxed. I photographed Ale in Hawaii. We seemed to have some extra money to travel there.
The two girls are gone. Many of the conifers in the picture died of root rot and old age. One thing has not changed. Even though I am now smart enough to never fertilize that laurel hedge, it grows! I will have to tackle it in about a week and it will take about three days using hand sheers. Electric hedge clippers leave a mess as the laurel hedge’s branches are tough and the cuts are not true. The result is messy. I hate the job but I don’t think I would want to return to Burnaby. Rosemary has always been right.