I found some old pictures and this particular one brought back a ton of memories. My baby, my youngest, once told me about keeping a memory box. I loved the idea but wasn’t so good at it, and my memory box ended up hidden away for 25 years. This box is no time capsule, mostly filled with concert ticket stubs, and a lot of “what did I save THIS for? Let’s dive in!
The first picture was taken around ’79 for my book jacket. Yes, just as I took a picture for my blog before I had one, I had a picture taken for my book before I had one. I fancied myself a writer. So fancy, that I took this photo meant for the back of my book.
I gleefully showed my parents my first publicity shot. Bernice sucked on her can of Tab and stroked her white, deaf cat.
“ Would it kill you to wear a bra?”
No one was questioning my career choice, but everyone was entitled to their opinion on my underthings or lack thereof. It was the turn of the decade, two of my classes were women’s studies, too many layers seemed downright un-American.
I want to be sure I am clear about the vanity involved here, my photographer friend took this picture specifically for my book jacket, although I never wore a skirt I put one on for this photo. We were in beautiful sunny St. Petersburg Florida and it didn’t even occur to me to go outdoors. I had yet to learn about the benefits of natural light but I knew the benefits of air-conditioning.
I was 30 pages into my book. I would only make it to page 33 but on the day that this picture was taken I didn’t yet know that my grandfather would die in a few days, and I was in no way prepared for the toll it would take on me, and my family, physically, academically, really in all areas of life.
The picture brings back details that I am sure are evident because it was in hiding for so long. I can feel the texture of my top in my hands, a fine terry like fabric with intricate little loops.I took the advice to “wear something neutral” ultra seriously. Once in a while over the years I would wonder “whatever happened to the paisley skirt?” It was a satiny one-size-fits all wrap-around that I would later wear through two pregnancies during that stage where nothing fits, but you aren’t ready to face maternity fashion.
I feel the salty breeze coming through the windows when I see the photo. In the background: a print that was popular in the day, the hand giving a daisy to a hand thing. That reminds me that the picture was not taken in my room, and I wonder whose room it was.
You would think I would hate this picture for some of the memories it provides but mostly I remember my friend taking it, at a time when we both believed anything was possible.
Stay tuned for some other scenes from inside the box.