I spend a fair amount of my life rummaging through other peoples' memories, cherished or otherwise. With the explosive growth of scrap-booking, people have a need to transfer their old photos into a digital-friendly form for resizing and putting into what are now quite elaborate layouts. No longer just a bunch of photo-corners stuck on black paper, these are artist-designed templates supplemented with ornaments and stickers- a work limited only by your imagination (and money.) The drudge work, actually giving each image a proper scan (it does make a difference, you know) is left to me, with my trusty Epson 1640XL or, for some occasional overkill, a pricey Hasselblad drum scanner. I'm a glorified copy-machine operator, but hey!- It's a living.
There's a saying among photo-finishers: "Don't look at the pictures!", meaning don't waste time looking at the content. I can't help it with this old stuff: so many birthdays, Easter outfits, proud prom-goers, new babies, fading grandparents, new cars that have by now been recycled many times, and most poignantly, beloved pets who now only exist in blurry snapshots and blurrier memories. You see what looking at the pictures can lead to- a feeling of sadness, a sense of fatalism that does no one any good, especially in one already prone to melancholy.