Photos (What I’ve Learned)

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Crazy Uncle Tom 12-2014

 

I gave myself an assignment this holiday break, scanning old photos that my folks collected over the years. In scanning over 1,200 photographs within the period of a week, and not scanning ten times that number I’ve learned a few things.

Take and save photos: Obviously, photographs are a perfect way to record the past. It’s a joy to look at the faces of years past to see family resemblances, personalities, and individual accomplishments.

When people pass on, don’t be too quick to toss out boxes of photos. If it’s too painful to go through them now, put them in storage for a decade… Once they’re circular filed, it’s as if they were never taken.

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Uncle, Aunt, Mother, Grandmother

 

Take staged and candid photos: Everyone attempts to looks their best when posing. Shoulder to shoulder with siblings or parents, it’s much easier for future generations to figure out who’s related to who.

Candids give a better indication of the personalities of each person, caught interacting with each other. However, it’s often a challenge to name people in them because often families and friends are mixed within them. I will say though, of all the pictures I have already shared with my extended family, the candid shots get the most comments.

My late uncle, one of the top waterfowl breeders/experts in the world.
My late uncle, one of the top waterfowl breeders/experts in the world.

Quality photos: Looking at well over a hundred years of family photographs I have seen trends in cameras, developing, printing, paper, and lenses. There are decades of washed out photos, where photos from years earlier held up better. As you snap photos in 2015 and beyond, consider the camera and lens you use to take pictures with. And while, it may look cool to save images with a retro filters, will those cheesy filters be as appreciated in fifty or more years when your kids’ kids are looking back on your life?

That’s right, looking back at your life… Very few know when we’ll pass, so, whatever pictures you leave behind may possibly be seen by nephews, grandchildren, and nieces’ great grandchildren… You’d be wise to consider that before snapping off stills from another sloppy, slutty, blurry, drunken night.

1918 Cavalary in George - Fred Kiesche
One Grandfather, Fredrick Paul Kiesche, 1918 Cavalry – photo taken in Georgia.

 

Label photos: It might be a giant time suck to label photos, however, there are albums upon albums of photographs where neither of my parents have any idea who are in the photos. Without names or dates, it’s impossible to know who the person is, and how anyone may or may not be related to them.

While this is labeled on the back, sadly it's abbreviated, 100 years later, we're unsure of the initials.
While this is labeled on the back, sadly it’s abbreviated, 100 years later, we’re unsure of the initials.

Also, prints with the location marked, but without the names of the subjects mean very little. And just as prints with locations marked but not individuals’ names mean very little, photographs with large backgrounds and small faces in them are valued far less too. Of many of the prints I scanned I found myself cropping out most of the backgrounds that were uninteresting. So get in there… The closer the subject is (and in focus), the greater the detail later.

Save occasional newsprint & letters: Along with the photos, I scanned a few notes, and newspaper articles. While I haven’t taken the time to really dive into most of them as of yet, the few I have really have given a fuller idea of the lives that my relatives had led.

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Ad for Grandfather’s station

Overall:  I have to say that the greatest thing I learned from looking at all these photos (in detail) was even more perspective on life… We all are born, live and pass on. People socialize and smile, we cook, we celebrate, we dress up and let our hair down…  All the while the world keeps turning. People are remembered for a time and most are forgotten decades later. It’s the way it is, photographs extend memories, but in a hundred years, your life will be boiled down to only a few saved “special” photographs, once again demonstrating how small issues in our individual lives really are small issues in the overall scheme of time. So smile, put your best foot forward, accomplish, and live a life that’s worth people remembering fondly.

– Quiche Out

Grandma Dye Playbill
Signed program of my Grandmother’s – An amateur stage production.
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My father as a boy
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Sadly, this photo was not labeled at all.
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A great grandparent’s shop

 

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Photo of my mother’s parent’s wedding day.

Interesting how life works…

One Grandfather owned a gas station and such (don’t remember ever meeting him)… He married my Grandmother, a witty woman, the 3rd woman in the state of NJ to have a driver’s license, who waited to get married, playing by her own rules…

On the other side, my Grandmother (when she was young) was an amateur actor, singer & director, and my Grandfather (who died in his 30s) was an engineer who dabbled in photography, built his own TV (1st in his neighborhood), and he and my grandmother were in several of the same community theatrical productions…

Interesting how life works.

Me, I’m an actor (blue collar types), director (of my own work), writer, singer, photographer, who loves figuring out how things work…

– Quiche Out

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Grandmother was the 3rd woman in NJ to have a driver’s license…
Grandma Dye Playbill
Signed program… 1931
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Aunt, Mother, Uncle… Christmas Picture taken by their father, my grandfather…
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Grandfather’s station…

Greatest & Happiest To You

XMAS

As the year comes to a close and we all are busy catching up with friends, attending parties, eating, shopping, flying, driving, drinking, communicating, texting…

Please, please be safe.

Drive sober.

Read texts and messages when your car is not in motion.

Travel safe.

Stay healthy.

Breathe.

Enjoy!

Hug!

And before your calendar flips to 2015, consider using the last few days of 2014 to put yourself in better positions to win next year with whatever goals you’re making for yourself.

Have the greatest & happiest of holidays!

Thank you!

– Quiche Out

That’s A Lot Of Pizzas

LotOfPizzas

“Heavy day” at the gym this AM.

I was on the leg press machine with fourteen 45-pound plates on the sled. Knocking out low rep sets, feeling good about recent workouts and my current food program, when a guy who has always been pleasant with a “hello,” leans over and says…

“That’s a lot of pizzas.”

Now, with a history of strangers saying really crappy things to me about my various weight and shape over the years, I stopped what I was doing and sternly asked…

“I’m sorry, what did you say?”

He repeated himself, but this time indicated the seven large round pizza-sized plates on each side…

“That’ a lot of pizzas.”

It was then that I realized what he meant. I smiled, made light of the heavy weight, with some self-depricating humor, and life went on…

“Well, I don’t do too many…”

What he said: “That’s a lot of pizzas”

What he meant: “That’s a lot of weight”

What I heard: “You’re fat”

After I was done with that particular set of exercise, I was still feeling a little stupid for jumping to the wrong conclusion on what he said, so I found him and took the time to apologize…

“I’m sorry, I have a history of people making fun of my weight or touching my stomach and asking when the baby is due, so when I heard “That’s a lot of pizzas” I thought you were talking about my stomach or my weight.”

He was more than apologetic, but before he could feel bad about it, I explained, that it wasn’t his choice of words, or his intention… It was my broken brain and ill-trained ears, that it was my responsibility for fixing both of them.

“It was just the opposite. I was saying how strong you were. I see you in here working your ass off all the time.”

Turns out he’s a really good dude, apparently himself dealing with the constant battle, dropping 38 pounds in the past six months. Man, it’s so important to not jump to conclusions, to realize that as humans we color other people’s words with our own history and experience.

After we chatted for short time we properly introduced ourselves, and he promised that the next time he sees me busting out a lot of weight he’ll say…

“That’s a lot of quiches.”

– Quiche Out

Do you have a story to share below, where your ears heard something completely different from what someone meant? Or you said something that someone took 180-degrees the wrong way?

 “I be up in the gym just working on my fitness. He’s my witness”
– Fergie

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GIVE UP? I gave up on giving up years ago.

GIVE UP

The other day I posted “GIVE UP? I gave up on giving up years ago” on my twitter feed…

In short, the reason I posted it was as a response to a response… After I mentioned something on social media about singing, a FB pal wrote and asked if I was going to give up acting.

Tonight I may have opened a door in my singing career. The future will tell. But I am flying on a cloud.

You giving up acting

GIVE UP? I gave up on giving up years ago.

 

Honestly, at this point, I don’t believe in “giving up” any more. I do however believe in out-growing. I believe in moving on. I believe in changes of focus. I believe that people find other things to be passionate about. I believe in living to fight another day. Trying other paths. I believe in determining what fits better, swimming with the current once in a while, and resting…  But “giving up,” I truly “gave up” on years ago, after having given up too many things I truly enjoyed. In each instance it was for the wrong reason, and if you don’t know the difference between “giving up” and those things I listed… It’s one word, “REGRET.”

Never “give up.” Never ever “give up.”

– Quiche Out

 

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DEMO FROM THE MENTALIST GUEST ROLE

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Cut this together for my agents to watch.

On YouTube till YOUTUBE yanks it…

On Vimeo as soon as they finish “processing it”

Public until I make it private.

– Quiche Out