Friday, September 20, 2013

09/20/13 Quest complete

I am now the proud owner of another 140 digitized scans, this time of yearbooks from 1969 through 1987. I still have to scan pictures from the yearbooks I was gifted yesterday, which will probably bring the two day total to close to 600 scans, and far more once I divide all those yearbook pages into their individual photos. 

And of them all, this is what I came for. 

This is what started it all.

I found my boat.

I'd started to despair when I pinned down the Freshman officers in the Volume 1 yearbook from 1969. There was Cheryl, Parliamentarian, who had posted months ago about remembering taking their class officer picture on that Foley's Shoe Ship. But no ship.

The initial page scan:

The close-up of the officers at what appears to be a popcorn stand, Cheryl is on the back row, right, between the male President and VP:
 I kept on slogging through, scanning pictures and thinking this boat picture just might not be found, until, right at the very back of the book, in a page of various pictures, that cross on the sail caught my eye. I'd completely forgotten about the cross on the sail, actually, until I saw it today. But there it was. A terrible, underexposed photograph of the same people, sitting along the rail with the little toy cannon underneath! 

They must have taken the photograph, which Cheryl remembered doing, but then decided to reshoot somewhere else in better lighting. It very well could, and should, have ended up on the yearbook editing floor at that point. But someone needed to fill a little corner of one of the end pages, and stuck it in, with a little caption that didn't identify anyone in the picture as Freshman class officers. If you hadn't been a little child playing on this thing, there's no way you would have found that photograph. 

I am three, and you have to wait your turn to be helped by the man who makes you stand on that hard metal thing and pushes the lever down to your toes and reads the number off of it before he walks off into the back room. Before your mom gets helped, you get to climb up on the giant pirate ship along the back wall of the children's shoe department of Foley's Department store. When the number your mom pulled is called, you have to leave your flight to Neverland and come down to get measured. When he goes into the hidden storeroom to find your shoes, you really long to run back up, and stare jealously at the children still romping around. And, finally, blessedly, after your new shoes are tried on and laced up, and your mom is ready to pay, you get leave to play again, this time in brand new, shiny bright, red checkered sneakers (to replace the previous exact same pair).

No one, of course, in the 1970's, carries a camera with them when they take their three year olds shopping. The external flash bulb alone is more trouble than its worth for indoor pictures.

The likelihood that this three year old will wait forty years and then be able to locate a picture of it is minuscule.

And yet.

Here is my ship.


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