Adapted from a 1-23-07 FITK post with additional material
Archiving the family photographs, unless one is exceptionally diligent, always is a bit of an imprecise endeavor. Albums are big and heavy, hard to organize, and, because they are somewhat expensive, have a tendency to “self-edit” those pictures that hadn’t “made the grade.” Shoe boxes, while inclusive and simple to use, also tend to “bury” a wanted photo- “Let me think, was it '97 or '98? It's here somewhere... ”
Digital storage is the newest option, certainly more compact, but as the number of image files grows, it too becomes unwieldy. Its fate in long-term storage may be susceptible to other pitfalls as well.
But none of these issues address the situation of deliberately destroying photos that may have been deemed “unseemly” in the context of family history. In the late 1950s my parents would attend a “neighborhood” party. A group of couples converged for an evening of socialization and cocktails with no
children present. A camera was
present, however and, evidently after several
drinks, pictures were taken of various couples in amusing situations. These couples were not
married. To each other
, that is.
These pictures were processed and remained in the bottom of my family’s photo shoe box for many years. I would look at them from time to time, wondering just what our parents had been thinking. And then, they were gone. There isn’t any chance of our children finding a similar cache of us; we barely know our neighbors. Perhaps it is better that those pictures have gone missing. What were no doubt innocent party games in the “fabulous fifties” have grown in the imagination to something more exotic and daring...
UPDATE: I recently discovered these pictures when scanning a hitherto unknown photo album that my sister had. Here are a couple of those “missing photos”: