Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back in October when I went to help my mom pack before she moved, she gave me about 100 35mm slides of the family because she could not throw them out. She had already thrown out hundreds of others of my dad's political life, their vacations to Greece and many other things that were not "personal". I looked through the slides (by holding them up to the window) and they really are treasures.

My brother was visiting this weekend and so I asked him if he had access at his work (he works at a university with access to many media products) to a machine that could easily transfer slides to digital prints, otherwise I would buy a 35mm slide image scanner. Fortunately, he has access to professional products so I very warily and reluctantly gave him the slides to copy for me and my siblings and my mom. I hope he is able to get it done by Christmas because I think it would be great to give copies to my mom and sister and other brothers then. I hope it gets done!

Some of the photos are real gems! A Christmas when our family lived in Ottawa (we lived there for just 2 years after my dad lost an election and became an aide to a member of parliament so we rented out our house and moved). Photos of our family with the family up the street at our rented twin cottages. We just rented them for two or three summers in a row and I was very, very young but I still have such distinct and wonderful memories of those times.

The thing about slides is that they were never made to hard copy prints. My dad would occasionally set up the projector, take the painting off the dining room wall and we'd sit and look at the slides. It was fun and interesting as long as it were photos of us that we were viewing.

The worst slide shows were of the trips to Greece that my mom and dad made in the 80s. Literally HUNDREDS of photos of the Greek country side in Florina (the sister city to my hometown). Zzzzz We used to joke all of the time about my dad and his slides. When Stephen and I were first dating my dad pulled out the slides and Stephen sat very politely through them. I think my dad loved him just because he had a captive audience and Stephen made all of the correct nods and asked just enough questions to make him seem interested. Oh those slides!

I am not sure why my dad loved slides so much. He was an amateur photographer and he probably thought that slides were superior to negatives/film. So many of our family photos were on slides (and lost somewhere in moves). Or if he did use film, he'd have them developed onto contact paper rather than in regular sized photographs and the negatives long gone. (No doubt my mom threw them out at some point as she often called my dad a pack rat and when he wasn't looking she would throw out boxes and boxes of his papers that he had stored in the crawlspace. Just an aside but after my dad died my mom dumped so much crap only to find out later that my dad had been hiding gold coins that he had been collecting in them. Who knows how much gold is now in the Toronto garbage landfills?!).

Anyway, the slides are a real treasure and I hope it isn't too long before I have digital copies of them. I would also like to have the actual slides back but Stephen may accuse me of being a pack rat like my dad! Unfortunately, I have no gold to stash with them though. :)

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