Monday, April 6, 2015

Earth and sky, woods and fields: that’s the way it was, the summer of 1973

Isn’t this a nice view? It’s an aerial photograph of my childhood home, from the summer of 1973. Several nights ago I was browsing a vintage photography site that included aerial shots of the rural parts of Greene County, PA where I grew up. It contained roughly 4000 images, and I was happily surprised when one of them turned out to be my family’s old farmhouse. (If you look closely enough, you can see my Dad’s old white music van, it had ‘Donovan Morris & the Country Rockers’ painted on both sides.)
1973 July2

I looked through mom’s old photos for pictures of us from the same time this was taken, here’s one from July 1973; that’s me, Dad and older brother Duke in the back; Steve, Shawn & Donda in front

It was such a curious thing, that aerial photo. I’ve looked through old family albums so much that I can easily identify most of the images without even turning them over. Shawn’s 11th birthday cake? August 1974. Mom and our newest sister Courtney coming home from the hospital, July 1975. Our photos have always come with some memories attached (dim as they may be), but that aerial picture above… I wonder what was going on at the time? The car & van were parked outside, so we weren’t away on a family vacation or visiting relatives or swimming at Ryerson Park. Where was everybody?

Most likely if it was summer, us kids were outside hiking the surrounding fields or woods, or exploring the old sheds or barns that dotted the countryside. Perhaps my older brother was upstairs in his room, reading one of his countless sci-fi paperbacks (which he kept in neat stacks atop his bedroom dresser). My younger brother Steve was either fishing or at the Gordons, a neighboring farm where he spent more time then anywhere else, and if it was a Saturday morning, my sister Shawn & I might be in town, spending our allowances on comic books, candy and the weekly matinee.

Our neighbors the Gordons (were considerably older than this early photo) when we moved to the country in 1970; my brother Steve spent so much time at their farm, I’m surprised they didn’t try to adopt him!

I don’t really have anything of importance or interest to share here, besides that top photo. I know I have a tendency to take a lot of strolls—okay, more like mad dashes—down Memory Lane, but seeing our old farmhouse again after so many years, on a bright summer day in 1973 no less… the combination proved too much to resist.

(Oh what the heck—here’s one more, my sisters Shawn & Donda on their bikes, in June 1973.)

Looking forward to a great summer...

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