Monday, March 17, 2008

Memories of Al...

Tonight I was going through tons of old discs full of images from when I first started doing wedding photography. I found one that was somehow mislabeled. I opened the contents expecting to find images from a wedding I shot in 2004 but instead I opened it to find scans of negatives my friend Sarah did for me of all of my medium format photography from college. One of the first images I saw was of my grandfather who passed away in 2002. Instantly my eyes got hot and the tears just came out. I just couldn't help it! My grandmother also passed away that same year and everything was very hard on our family. At the same time it really brought us all together. Both of them were only in their early to mid 60's, so young!

Here are the images that I found. They both capture him EXACTLY how I remember him.

To an outsider it is just a old guy laughing and doing a crossword on his porch. But to me and my cousins it's Al, big Al Clymer. Sitting in his carport, BS-ing with whoever was visiting that day, in those big dark leather & wood chairs that had been around since before I was even born. The chairs that went to a table who's base was a giant barrel and with a wooden top that was glossy with a million coats of lacker.

When we were young Grandpa Al would send us (the grandkids) down to the circle k at the end of the street to get him lottery tickets & cigarettes. We all knew that meant to get him a diet coke. It was so cool that he let us go alllll the way down to the circle k alone. It was like an adventure to us. Now that I have grown up I laugh at this when I realize the circle k was only 3 houses away.

I remember how in love and crazy he was about my Grandmother. He was constantly trying to find ways to give her a kiss, or hug, or a pinch on the rear when he thought we weren't looking. I remember him calling her "Margee Baby" a lot.

Like everyone, he had his vices and ultimately they caused his poor health. But he was a good man.

When I was about 15 years old I wanted to find out how/why people know they are meant to be together and how they just keep on going strong through all of the highs and lows of life. All my Grandmother could really tell me was that every single day when she woke up and saw her husband she still got the butterflies like she did when they were first dating. At that moment I knew I would not settle for anything less than that in my life.


Nicole said...

Well said Jen....they both are sorely missed. Great pictures..his smile made me immediately do that same and I loved that damn table! =)

jackie said...

so sweet! i love those pictures - you really did capture grampa's true personality here! that smile is exactly how i remember him and that cross necklace was always there! xoxo

Michael Juiliano said...

gorgeous post. i love when i happen open images like that. thanks for stopping by my blog. it was a pleasure meeting you as well. keep in touch.