Can You Hear Me Now?

In front of a stilted house in 1953 Cebu, Dad prepares for a photo op. The Kodak bounces on his belly, the movie camera is strapped across his chest, resting behind him at the ready and his left hand grips the tripod case.

Dad didn’t leave exposure to chance and the high whine of the light meter at his right ear strictly regulated shutter speed and f-stop. The thousands of precious pictures left for my mnemonic retrievals are to me, all perfect, including the occasional blurry ones, the yellowed old ektachromes and a handful of negatives with a weirdly ethereal blue cast.

My father fell asleep too soon. We didn’t have enough time. He didn’t walk me down the aisle and I felt the loss of him the most when I realized my sweet children would never meet their grandfather. But through his photos I share my father with them, especially now as they have children of their own and we scan the faces of past generations for family resemblance.

Through many of the remembered sounds of my father’s photography: opening the film box, the whir of the film winder, the click clack of the tripod, the whine of the light meter, sit still! say cheese! and the snap of the shutter…

Yes, Dad, I can hear you now.

7 comments on “Can You Hear Me Now?”

  1. Lovely memories, Susie….brought a tear to my eye.

  2. Another great picture! Yes, he did fall asleep WAY too soon… thank you for sharing these precious memories with us. They mean a lot to all of us who knew him as well.

  3. These beautiful memories always reveal a unique side to your father that the rest of us never got to appreciate. He must certainly be proud of you for putting him in his best light. But what is that on his head?

  4. Thanks for helping me with my own ‘retrieval!’ Keep it going. Be well

  5. Beautifull

  6. Yes ,but he is watching you all . He is very proud of
    Who you have become. Blessings Susan!

  7. Dear Susan, thank you for this wonderfully evocative and moving portrait of your dad Peter, who was the best friend of my mother Antigone in their childhood years, with whom the Ross family kept up during his peregrinations with Varvara, Joanne, and you until his untimely death, and from whom the Ross family inherited the friendship and service of Cristina Opperman Challita through three generations of Rosses.

    Σας ευχαριστώ πολύ, αγαπητή ξαδέλφη μου.


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