Archive for July, 2010

July 31, 2010

retro photo month :: day thirty-one

 

I’ve always been a fan of wearing hats.
 

Easter bonnet teeter totter tricycle favorite chair
Grandpa's hat Easter cowboy hat
hunting cap straw hat
Chicago Cubs St. Louis plaid cap New York Yankees

Now, there is a story behind the larger photo in the center, of course. It was taken in 1986, I think — check that Miami Vice jacket with pushed-up sleeves! — and I had already begun my descent into depression, as well as the phase of my life when I resisted church and continually butted heads with my dad. It was Easter Sunday in this photo and we all embraced Southern tradition that year by wearing hats to church, but our morning did not allow time for photos, so we gathered before lunch to document the occasion. I wasn’t thrilled in the first place, but the look on my face when Mom snapped the shot was a direct result of having my hat fly off and straight into the water of the bird bath just moments before. That I was then told the photo still had to be taken and I must put that hat back on my head… well, you can see the response on my face. Not happy. But this was actually a rare occasion when I wasn’t quite happy to be wearing a hat of some kind. To this day I love any occasion where I can pull on a cap.
 

this month’s photos

the AJ St. Louis, circa 1999 around the turn of the 21st century December 1993 circa 1991
circa 1989 eighties hair senior year, high school sophomore year, high school sophomore year, high school
grade 8 middle school drill team circa 1980 grade 6 grade 5
scouts bluebird sisters granddaughters and the matriarch three 70s sisters
sisters in plaid sisters, circa 1972 circa 1971 me, circa 1971 circa 1970
me and my sisters back at the Texas State Capitol Senate Chamber, Texas State Capitol at the Texas State Capitol summer photo day one


Retro Photo Month was inspired by Elizabeth Dillow. Be sure to check out her own collection at {a swoop and a dart}.
 

July 30, 2010

retro photo month :: day thirty

Kiwi, AJ, K2 - circa 1996   W, AJ, K2, Kiwi - circa 2001
  my greatest treasures: Kiwi and K2, circa 1996;   W, K2 and Kiwi, circa 2001
 

AJ and The D, circa 2006
AJ and Dyl, circa 2006

As best my parents can remember, I began wearing glasses in the first grade. My eyesight, like my dad’s and eventually both of my sisters’, is extremely nearsighted, and this began to manifest quickly after I began attending school. As a child it’s usually no big deal to wear glasses, but by the time I reached the fringes of puberty I became extremely self-conscious about them. In sixth grade I managed to convince my parents that contact lenses would be better for me and that set me on an interesting journey of ill-fitting lenses that were easily lost and often replaced until the lens makers finally developed better materials to accommodate my severe prescription and high astigmatism. That didn’t occur until adulthood, but it was such a Godsend to be comfortable in my vanity.
 
I was always certain that I would never return to glasses. Not only did I not like my appearance in them, but they were much less comfortable and practical than contacts. But age often forces a person to make decisions she never thought she would, and such was the case with me. By my mid-thirties I had developed conditions in my eyes that made contacts virtually unbearable after only a few hours, so I made the difficult decision to return to glasses. It’s been almost six years since then and I now find my appearance so foreign without the glasses. Styles have come a long way since my childhood, as have opinions about the people who wear spectacles, and I am finally comfortable with the challenges in my eyesight. At this point, I don’t even recognize myself with the glasses. My sixth grade self would never have believed that could happen.
 

this month’s photos

St. Louis, circa 1999 around the turn of the 21st century December 1993 circa 1991
circa 1989 eighties hair senior year, high school sophomore year, high school sophomore year, high school
grade 8 middle school drill team circa 1980 grade 6 grade 5
scouts bluebird sisters granddaughters and the matriarch three 70s sisters
sisters in plaid sisters, circa 1972 circa 1971 me, circa 1971 circa 1970
me and my sisters back at the Texas State Capitol Senate Chamber, Texas State Capitol at the Texas State Capitol summer photo day one


Retro Photo Month was inspired by Elizabeth Dillow. Be sure to check out her own collection at {a swoop and a dart}.
 

July 29, 2010

retro photo month :: day twenty-nine

St. Louis, circa 1999
Yes, there’s a story behind this photo. A whole weekend, in fact. But that’ll have to come at a later time. All I’ll say today is that it was taken in St. Louis, Memorial Weekend 1999, at a gathering of fans for the tv series The Magnificent Seven. My first foray into online communities, back when people were still nervous that every person in a chat room was a predator. I learned otherwise and made lifelong friends. Do you see me in the photo? Top right. Playing a character from the series that was originated by the magnificent Tyne Daly. And I rocked an Irish brogue. Fun times!
 

this month’s photos

around the turn of the 21st century December 1993 circa 1991 circa 1989
eighties hair senior year, high school sophomore year, high school sophomore year, high school
grade 8 middle school drill team circa 1980 grade 6 grade 5
scouts bluebird sisters granddaughters and the matriarch three 70s sisters
sisters in plaid sisters, circa 1972 circa 1971 me, circa 1971 circa 1970
me and my sisters back at the Texas State Capitol Senate Chamber, Texas State Capitol at the Texas State Capitol summer photo day one


Retro Photo Month was inspired by Elizabeth Dillow. Be sure to check out her own collection at {a swoop and a dart}.
 

July 28, 2010

retro photo month :: day twenty-eight

 

sometime around the turn of the 21st centuryWhile walking through this month’s blast into the past, my best girl Cerella made a statement that really struck me. “I love seeing the journey of your hair.” My response was, “It has been a journey!” My hair has truly defined me throughout my life. As a child of the 70s, all the thick curls were my mother’s worst nightmare since no one else in our family had ever had hair of this type. She was always a cotton top, herself, with straight, fine locks. Both of my sisters were born with board straight tresses, as well. And girls of my generation wanted to have Marcia Brady hair, so my poor mother was left with the challenge of how to manage such a mass of uncooperative hair on her child. I don’t think she did a bad job, actually, since she did let it grow long enough to be placed into dog ears all the time. But I’m sure I was a miserable terror for her in the moments she had to run a brush through all that hair and then try to corral it into rubber bands. Oh, the tears I must have shed. I’m sure I screamed like a maniac, too. But I’m so thankful that she endured.
 
As I’ve noted, it has taken most of my life to come to terms with what God gave me. Fashions finally changed in my favor, and I allowed myself a period of not caring for it at all, after which I discovered an incredible mass of spiral curls that could be shaped into fun and enviable styles. Once this happened, there was no turning back for me. I embraced my hair and welcomed compliments. I took great pride in how beautiful it was and how attractive I could be as a result. For the first time in my life I began to see my own beauty. And I liked the feeling!
 
During college, I decided to let it grow long for the first time since junior high, and I kept it long for many years. But then I discovered that my hair had reached its apex. There was a length at which my hair was thick and buoyant, but after that point it became limp and lifeless. Plus, the ends would begin to take on a rusty orange hue. Not from hair dye. Just from being long and lifeless. I ignored that point for quite a while, adopting the updo pictured here so that I could control it. Once I secured all of my hair into a band atop my head, I could then use a curling iron to force the straggly ends into the same spirals as the healthier locks. And then I shellacked that hairdo to make sure no prisoners escaped. This was probably the only true fashion ritual I ever had, and it was worth the 30-45 minutes involved in creating that look. But my hair was never the same again.
 
Sometime around the turn of this century I decided to take it all down. I finally faced the fact that my hair just had no life when allowed to be so long, and I went to my stylist and had it cut from below my shoulders to the jawline. My hair had life again after that, and I have spent the past ten years playing with it in fresh new ways. My experimentation with color stayed in effect for a few years… until I realized that I had reached the point where the color was necessary because of the aging effect. I’ve paid a price for this, too, as my hair no longer has the volume and density it once did. At 41 I am challenged in a whole new way, with fine, limp, dull and mousy hair that likes to hang in my face rather than stay in place. But I still receive compliments from time to time, and that does make all the effort worth it. There is not much about myself that I truly find attractive, so I embrace my hair as an asset. The fact that it’s had a life and story of its own just makes it all the more cool.
 

this month’s photos

DK and me, December 1993 circa 1991 circa 1989 eighties hair
senior year, high school sophomore year, high school sophomore year, high school grade 8
middle school drill team circa 1980 grade 6 grade 5
scouts bluebird sisters granddaughters and the matriarch three 70s sisters
sisters in plaid sisters, circa 1972 circa 1971 me, circa 1971 circa 1970
me and my sisters back at the Texas State Capitol Senate Chamber, Texas State Capitol at the Texas State Capitol summer photo day one


Retro Photo Month was inspired by Elizabeth Dillow. Be sure to check out her own collection at {a swoop and a dart}.