Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Time Capsule

Back when I was a kid, my dad owned an old 1947 two-ton truck with a beet body. In 1977, when we moved from the ranch at Laramie to the ranch at Sundance, he loaded up the ’47 with stuff, covered it with a tarp, and drove it north. He parked it in the ranch driveway, and there it sat for 32 years, while trees grew up through the bumpers and running boards, and the tarpaulin slowly rotted. For 30 years, until the day he died, he refused to allow any effort to open it up and see if anything was worth saving.

When my family gathered to celebrate Jenny’s life and mourn her passing, my nephew Ray (Jenny’s son, now a fine, strapping 6’3”, 200# man – how time flies!) looked out the window and said, “We should unpack that old truck.”

“What,” my brother Sam replied, “the Time Capsule?”

That’s what it was – a time capsule from 1977. Without Pa to restrain us, we trooped out, pulled off the old bungy cords, and folded back the tarp.

No surprise, much of the stuff was ruined. Boxes of clothes that had rotted, books with pages that had molded together into a solid mass of moldy paper, an old mandolin so rotted that it fell to dust at a touch. We found that my dad had thrown stuff in with random disregard for value or meaning. Family heirlooms sat next to bundles of old newspapers. Valuable antiques huddled with a bag of used, empty toothpaste tubes. (I’m not kidding. He really packed that and moved it, rather than tossing it in the garbage.) And sitting in a box with kid art and a bag of buttons, I found a roll of 35 mm negatives. The date, carefully printed in my mother’s hand, was “Oct.-Nov. 1960.”

That’s right. My very first baby pictures, miraculously preserved for 32 years in the back of an old truck, protected from broiling sun and freezing winter, from rain and snow and drought, by one thin layer of canvas.

It was the one prize I took from the stuff that wasn’t wrecked. And it was enough.


'Scuse me? Nixon??!!! Ouch!

You'll never find my kids dressed like this...

Sleepy time!

My sibs - Frank, Jenny, and Sam

This one reminds me of my Trinidad, all snuggled in his sling. Sweet, sweet boy. (Trin, not me.)

"Where's that nipple?!"
The best picture of my mom - darn it!


David Carrel said...

Those are great Seda! What an awesome find. Maybe I will post some of my baby pictures on my site when Evelyn is born. Last night, Sarah said she hopes Evelyn looks like me, to which I replied. "I hope not, she is a girl!" haha. Well, we will see. Thanks for sharing these!

anne said...

Hey girl,

You were a cutie! I have election buttons all over my birth announcement, but my mom was for Kennedy...

I'm sending you a pic in email,


CrackerLilo said...

How fantastic that you found those! It's sad about your father's insistence on jumbling so much together in the "time capsule," but great that y'all finally dug in and claimed what was yours.

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with leaving time capsules--I was interested in ancient civilizations, and wanted to make sure that the future's archaelogists got it right. I included letters and cheap dictionaries that I got from jumble sales, too. I wonder what the conditions of their contents are like now.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our