Saturday, February 27, 2010

Old photos

I took my youngest, Adam, to a friend's birthday party this evening. While the kids ate cake and watched the birthday boy open presents, I got to thinking about a personal project I'm working on. So, I grabbed a couple of napkins and started writing notes to myself. Those notes got me to thinking about a photo album I keep in my living room.

When we got home, I got out the album, and Adam the rookie river rat had to see it, too. It's mainly a collection of photos of the Ohio River that I took in the mid 1970s to the middle 1980s. It has boats, bridges, weather, nephews and other such in it.

I was surprised at how some things haven't changed in the 30-plus years since some of those photos were taken, and how some things have. Just as the Chevy Chevette, the Ford Pinto and the Dodge Omni have disappeared from the highways in these parts, so too have some boats left the Ohio River: Capt. Jack Loomis, Kelly Lou, H.E. Bowles, Lesta K, Allied-Ashland, Aetna-Louisville and the old Valvoline among them. Also the Mississippi Queen and -- closest to me for personal reaons -- the C.T. Jones.

I saw the Winnie C, the Omar and the Kay H, which operate elsewhere and are seldom seen around Mile 300 anymore.

There were photos of the old locks at Gallipolis, and boats passing through Greenup.

As Adam looked at the photos, I told my wife that I know which of my three kids will want my photos when I'm gone. I just hope, I added, that he can wait that long.

I took those pictures for personal interest and in hopes I could use them in a project some day. That day is nearing, and I'm glad that I have the problem of having too many photos to choose from. Eventually I'll need a good scanner to deal with the hundreds of slides that I shot, too. Those photos are even better than the prints that Adam saw.

The pictures were from a much different time in my life. I didn't think then they would need to marinate for 25 years or more before I could use them in the way I wanted. But maybe soon I can share them.