A coda to this series. My father served in the US Army in the 1950′s. He was stationed in Germany, and he visited London in 1957. His departure for his tour leads a series in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, a post you can read here. Follow the posts forward to read the series in order. His photographs of London in 1957 are juxtaposed with my own modern images to try to tell a story each day. Thanks for reading and for sharing this series with your friends.
By Roy Watkins. June 1957.
For those of you who are relatively new or sporadic readers of The Cootchie, MTM and I moved a little over a month ago. Our new space is smaller and came furnished, but that didn’t stop us from deciding we HAD to have certain items of comfort that morphed into most of our crap. The balance of our everyday detritus went into a storage unit close by.
Really, I TRIED to keep track of what went where. I created detailed inventories. Made lists. Scrawled contents all over the outsides of every box with the biggest Sharpie I could find.
I guess I sniffed too many Sharpie fumes, because, when it came time to pen this series, I couldn’t find my Dad’s photos. With three scanned on my laptop, I dove right in, convinced they would somehow walk out of hiding and fight to be included.
Two nights later, poor MTM traipsed to the storage unit alone, the sound of me screeching that I knew – I KNEW – I packed the photos in one of the boxes of books from our old bedroom
sending him fleeing home ringing in his ears. Convinced of my rightness, I kicked up my feet, sipped a night cap and immersed my lazy self in a book.
Hours later, MTM emerged from
a detour to a bar to drown his sorrows the storage unit, sans photos. I looked in every single box, Andra. They just aren’t there. Are you REALLY SURE you packed them?
Of COURSE I packed them. They are in one of those boxes from the old bedroom. You just didn’t look hard enough.
He gave me a bleary glare and stumbled to bed, but not before vowing to drag me to the storage unit to show me how wrong I was. The very next evening, that’s exactly what he did. With patience of steel, he pulled every box out of the unit and made me go through them. I’ve BEEN LOOKING for this Paris book………Oh, look! We can make sushi!……..Are you SURE we don’t need more dishes?………..You’re hiding those pictures from me, aren’t you? I mean, I’ve looked in every box here. I KNOW I packed them.
Back at home, I opened the same drawers and cupboards I’d already inspected fourteen million times. I scoped under the beds, pulled up the sofa cushions. Finally, I opened a drawer in my office THAT I USE EVERY DANG DAY, and there, tucked between two plastic folders I also use every day, were the Pictures I Knew I Packed.
The series went on, leaving me in debt to MTM until the next Diamond Jubilee.
By Andra Watkins. March 2009.