Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tell Me Thursday: Catch of the Day

Miriam and Bryan Robbins, August 1973, Klawock, Alaska. Original in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Spokane, Washington. 2009.

Did you ever remember getting your photograph taken on a special occasion, yet realize you never actually saw the photo? Did you ever wonder what happened to it? In the days before digital cameras, we had no way of knowing if a photograph "took," and then we had to wait for it to get developed (hopefully correctly) before we found out if it turned out all right.

I well remember this sunny August day and this photograph in Southeastern Alaska, 1973. I was six years old, and Dad and I had gone fishing in his boat, a treat for me. I still remember looking down over the side of the boat into the depth of whatever bay we were in and not being able to see the bottom...I used to like to scare myself that way! I was so excited when I hooked my fish...and then the unthinkable happened! My long hair got wound up in the reel as I was trying to bring him in. Dad heard me cry out and started to let the line out; then I really started crying! I was afraid I was going to lose my fish! He told me not to worry, and after he had gotten me free, helped me to reel in my fish.

It's hard to tell, but we're holding up three fish here, and mine's the biggest, I'm sure! I don't recall what they were, probably salmon (help me out here, Dad!), and I remember posing proudly so that Mom could take our picture. BUT, I remember feeling disappointed that I never got to see it. I wondered if it just had not turned out.

Then my uncle brought this snapshot with him when he visited last month from Michigan. Mom had sent it to my grandparents in a letter, and it has come full circle being returned to me. I was so delighted when I saw meant as much to me as all the wonderful old ancestral photos I saw!

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