There once was a boy, who lived in Montréal. When he was ten when his father passed away. When he was thirteen he got special permission to leave school and go to work. He started working in a Bank, he was the runner. He went from office to office delivering files and mail. Without this job there would have been no food to eat. This same boy, although thirteen, had no front teeth. He was hit by a car in an alley in Montréal and although money was given from insurance it was better used for food instead of teeth.
One of the biggest reasons I wanted to become a photographer at a young age of twelve is because there were very few photos of my parents, and then again very few of myself and my eldest sister. You just didn’t spend money on photographs it was deemed frivolous, or for the elite. I chose early on to be the one to document our family. It was a gift I was given and I feel I have used well over the years. My Dad as one photo of himself and his younger brother when they were quite little and a photograph of his parents when his Mother was pregnant with him and last but not least a photo of his whole family. That is all.
When one of my Dad’s sisters saw J this past July, she commented on how much he looked like my Dad when he was younger. She asked if I wasn’t shocked. I replied, how could I be, Dad has no photos of himself, do you?? She does apparently have photos of him, but has not offered them up. Another Aunt-in-Law in going through photos found one of my Dad and realized that he should have it and brought it when they met up for a celebration this past summer.
This is my Dad.
This photo was taken in July of 1951, a few months before his thirteenth birthday. His last summer before he had to quit school and go to work.
And this is J. This past summer, August 2011 at the age of eight. He wouldn’t smile for me even though he knew I wanted to try to replicate the photo. I didn’t have a cat or a dog to sit on his lap, in fact we are at Saunders Farm enjoying summer and letting the kids just be kids.
He and my Dad came from the same mold. The same stock. They act alike, they think alike and when things get really crazy, they finish each others sentences. There are no questions of who J takes after, it is not me or Hubby, it is his Grandfather, through and through.
I couldn’t be more proud that J will grow up to be just like Dad. I know he will and does have his own quirks and traits, but in truth, if he going to take after someone why not someone who has worked hard for 61 years. Someone who has been there for me, no questions asked for 41 years. I couldn’t be more proud of both of them.