Sunday Scribblings-Photograph

It’s really a slide – remember those?  That’s what my dad took, back in the 50’s when I was very little,  and he had a huge, boxy brown camera with a flash attachment as big as a lampshade.  Not only did the bulbs flash in your face when you least expected it, they made a sharp Pop! sound, their bright little lives over in an instant.  Oh, was I terrifed of that thing!  Each one of my bithday parties was completely spoiled by the knowledge that he was prowling around with his camera and its horrible flash attachment, trying to take my picture.

But I digress. 

It’s the photograph (or slide) I’m here to recall for you, and since I have no idea where the actual item has ended up, recall it I must.  Actually, I believe it’s quite well etched in my memory, for it’s the image of myself as a child that most describes the essence of me.

I’m probably two at most, and I’m standing at our back gate – the proverbial white picket fence type.  My back is to the camera, my little legs are bare underneath the short dress I’m wearing.  The neat bow at my waist has started to come undone, and hangs slightly askew.  I’ve probably been swinging on my swingset -my most favorite outdoor activity at that age.

So there I am, standing at the gate, reaching on tiptoe as far as I can reach, one hand on the latch about to lift it and make my escape to -freedom!  And the camera catches me just as I look over my shoulder, a pleased and rather wicked little grin on my face, to see if anyone is watching.

Oh, you can be sure I was stopped before I got out.  I was watched mighty carefully in those days – after all, an only child whose mother (and grandparents) were in the house 24-7 was in no danger of having too much freedom, believe me.

But that image still haunts me.  It recalls the feeling of being trapped, of not being allowed out of the safe confines of my home, of being cloistered behind the gate. 

At the same time, it summons that buring desire to throw the gate wide and burst out at full throttle, like a race horse off the gun.

If I could find that photograph, I’d have it enlarged into a huge poster I could hang on the wall, a poster that would remind me I’m all grown up now, and I can open the gate if I want to.

There’s no one to stop me anymore.


go here to see more photographs



15 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings-Photograph

  1. find it!!! do it!!! i have my favorite photo of myself as a baby on my bookshelf… i scanned it but couldn’t get it to work properly in the post i wanted to use it in… i need a better photo manip. program…

    your link isn’t working on sunday scribblings.. so you might wan tot go back and try again…

  2. With most of us bloggers posting actual photographs in response to the prompt, this is a reminder that a word is worth a thousand pictures. What? That isn’t the way you remember the saying?

    Seriously, the actual photo was unnecessary for this to be a meaningful post. I can imagine Baby Becca making a bid for freedom, only to be stopped by that blasted gate in the white picket fence.

    Paisley is right. Your link isn’t working. I accessed this by going to your archives.

  3. My Dad had a Hanimex slide camera AND a screen AND a projector!

    And yes! I remember the huge flash attachment on the side! I used to think it looked like a giant Cyclops eye watching me! I hated it too!

    Great post!


  4. And my father STILL takes slides. So there! There was something so fun about “setting up a slide show” — and I still have the pleasure of doing it with my parents.

  5. Open the gate! I’m cheering you on as I watched you unlatch that gate by saying “no” this week! Your description was picture perfect. XXOO

  6. Great post Becca. The desire and need to explore the world is such a universal one and starts early in life. Your words evoked recollections of my own “escapes” – successful and not.

  7. I have a photo that reminds me of yours. I was tip-toe-ing (like someone might hear me???) on the grass over to the tulips. I loved to pick mom’s tulips and then “surprise” her with a bouquet of them! (I was also known to pick the neighbor’s flowers). Mom snapped the photo with a sneaky look on my face. Hmmm…… I’ve never pondered what “truth” that photo reveals!

    I am so excited about my new blog! Amy from InPursuitOfProverbs31 did an amazing job!!! I love it. Come on over and check it out when you get a minute.
    Many blessings!


  8. Beautiful memory. I have a photo of my screaming for the camera instead of smiling demurely and it is my image now – in my art and on my screensaver. I hope you find your photo!

  9. How well I remember the slides my own father took! 🙂

    I also remember the “event” complete with buttered popcorn when we got out the slide projector (the kind that goes back and forth, not the carousel type) and looked at vacations and holidays spent together.

    Thanks for sharing your memory of “almost” freedom.

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