|Rosemary & Alexandra - Mocambo, Veracruz, 1969
Having lived in Argentina twice (1942 to 1954 and 1965 to 1967), in Mexico (1954 to 1964 and 1964 to 1975) with four years in a Texas boarding school (from 1958 to 1961) I am pleasantly confused as to where I am from or what I am. When I feel bored I use my memory to return to all those places in place and in time.
As an obsolete, redundant, retired & inconsequential photographer at my age of 79 I think about what is left of my life and what I want to remain of me once I am gone. I think of legacy. Luckily I also understand how important stuff (as in treasured objects) in one’s life becomes less so as one ages. Not believing in a hereafter, this legacy becomes even less significant. When Rosemary was alive I often told her that if I were to precede her into oblivion that she was not to place a park bench in my memory either in Kerrisdale or in some park.
Now since I am the one that is alive I think of her legacy and what she has left behind for me and our daughters and granddaughter. In this modern 21st century young people are usually not interested in the belongings of grandparents unless it is cold cash.
I cannot put myself in my daughters’ or granddaughters’ head so I plod along sifting through stuff and keeping what I think they might appreciate.
Yesterday I went at the large box that contained all my corporate work. These are brochures and annual reports. I even have two for the now defunct Vancouver Stock Exchange. I would calculate that the box contained 100 of them. Some were in duplicates. At one time these brochures were part of that all-important portfolio that one used to get more work. Since for some of those logging company brochures I got to charge a $3000 daily fee I must ascertain that I made good money and that Rosemary skilfully combined it with her salary so that now I can live comfortably without any financial worries.
|My mother - Filomena de Irureta Goyena and Alexandra
That means I have a lot of time. So I think not of my photographic legacy of the corporate kind but that of my family legacy. I have now for many months been going through all the negatives and slides of the family (I have very good family albums that preceded my marriage to Rosemary) that began in 1967. There are hundreds of potographs of our daughters and granddaughters. It is difficult for me to decide what goes and what stays. This means that most stays.
But this blog is about a contact sheet of colour negatives that were taken in 1968 and 1969. Some were shot by my friend Andrew Taylor who is my eldest daughter Alexandra’s godfather. Most of the photographs were from Rosemary and my (with Alexandra as a baby) visits to Veracruz to visit my mother. Andrew’s photos were taken inside the crater of the volcano El Nevado de Toluca and the very nice portraits of Rosemary and me Andrew took at the University of Mexico Botanical Garden. The blue VW was my first car. After that one we had a light brown one and our third was arctic white in which we drove to Vancouver.
|Photo by Andrew Taylor, University of Mexico Botanical Garden
What I find amazing is that many of these photos are what I call iconic (and that word will somehow be in the title of this blog) and it so wonderful that they are still around. Some of the photographs I have had in my blogs but these were all colour prints from our family album. These colour negative have deteriorated and I did my best to make them look good.
I keep repeating in these recent blogs how enlarging the photographs of Rosemary and looking at them on my monitor is an exercise of grief that alternates with the pleasure of seeing a photograph that I took that I never ever printed before. And so I do repeat myself in stating that I see in some of these photographs, my Rosemary for the first time. I fall in love with her all over again and I I have a little of an issue realizing what she might have seen in this man without a country but at the same time I have been lucky to have had this woman with me for 52 years
|Nevado de Toluca , Estado de México