Monday, February 7, 2011

Mom on Pony

My mom is 91 and a picture of her ringing in 2011 is here. On the back of this sepia-tone print is “Jo – age 3” so you do the math. I guess the only thing this picture wasn’t before that shaped the 20th and now 21st centuries was World War I – but the vets of the Great War hadn’t yet turned 30 yet.

There’s an arm in the periphery on the right hand edge of the frame. I am guessing that this picture was taken at a take a picture of your child on your pony stand. Photography and ponies had been invented by the time her parents were born, and even her grand parents, but photography has a consumable middle class memento item—hers may have been among the first generation to have that luxury.

She’s a cute child, but certainly that’s not rare. I love the innocence of that face She’s my mother, she has always looked old to me. To see the glimmers of her face here, decades before I came along, in the face that I’ve known all my life, it’s strange. I recognize that expression, that expression still lives, nine decades hence, it’s strange and somewhat emotional. But it’s also just innocence, a child on a pony. History, fate – it’s far away from this tiny person on her tiny steed – her parents and siblings behind the camera, watching the first pictures of the youngster being taken.

Early fall last year, Hamilton Park had a BBQ, where there was also a pony for toddlers to sit in and pictures to be taken. Maybe 90 (or so) years isn’t that long ago after all.

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