Memories are elusive wisps of mental energy. I jumpstart mine with photos on my refrigerator and a ceiling length picture board, also in the kitchen.
The photo that I have been drawn to lately is one of my father Leonard and my son Ari.
Ari was 10 years old at the time and my Dad was 71. It was taken at Gulfstream Race Track, north of Miami Beach. Dad had the Daily Racing Form in his hand and he was trying to explain horse race betting to Ari.
I’ve been wondering why this picture has such a hold on me. What is it about that photo that connects me so powerfully that I stare at it every day?
I think it is my Dad’s intensity, his focus that captured Ari’s interest. It’s why I took the photo. Most pictures fail the refrigerator magnet test because they are poorly staged, but this one catches the realness of a beautiful moment tying the Graff generations together.
I have a few family photos in my iPhone but I never look at them. There is still something about a paper print that pulls me in like no digital image can.
Lately, the survivors of my high school class have started an online group and the reminiscences have been flying across the Web. People have been searching our yearbooks and yellowed photos in scrapbooks for glimpses into the past to connect with the emails of today. Memories are so gauzy without those paper pictures.
I’m so glad I can remember my Dad telling Ari, “let’s bet two bucks on Fat Cat in the 6th race to win,” and the three of us smiling at each other while we gripped our pink Daily Racing Forms.
Question: What picture do you look at every day on your refrigerator? Why?