Sunday, January 22, 2017

Monday Musings: An Image Of A Former Self

August 22, 2011 9:19 pm by  
Filed under Life, Monday Musings

Letter Sweater - 1963 My theory about getting older is; we may intellectually be able to look in the mirror and accept what we see…signs of middle age and all. But somewhere in the recesses of our mind lives the younger version of us, the persona we’ve created of who we think we were back then. Photos from our youth often reinforce our memories through the family stories that accompany them. “Oh that was the day you caught a bigger fish than Uncle Johnny up at the lake”.

By the time we’ve looked at those photos a hundred times, we don’t “see them” anymore, we have long ago invested in the younger, mythical version of them. So when recently, out of the blue, an old friend who is retiring and selling her house, presented me with a photo from our shared teenage years that I didn’t know existed, the jolt was visceral. Who was that girl, and where in my self-directed tableau did she belong.

Looking out from the crinkled paper with staple holes in it, was an earnest young woman with a slightly coquettish smile and beehive hairdo, proudly displaying the letter sweater of her current beau. I stared at her for a long time, enlarging the photo so I could study her face. She stared back from within a gorgeous autumn day; one of those rare gifts of Indian Summer, filled with golden warmth and colored leaves. Off to a football game perhaps or about to go for one of the last rides of the season in a convertible.

The photo’s focus is sharp, the colors still crisp, but the subject remains an enigma, unrecognizable in her youth and naiveté. 


12 Responses to “Monday Musings: An Image Of A Former Self”
  1. Christine Tipping says:

    Pam, your youthful beauty has not wained! How lovely!

  2. Joe says:

    Makes me wish I was older, at least old enough to have hit on that hottie at the Parkway Drive In or King Arthur’s Court before she became enamored of some geek from Upper Perk. :) If the Beach Boys had gone inland, they would have sung about those “Haycock Girls …”

  3. Jan Haley-Schwoyer says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I think although our bodies age, in our minds we never get past about 25. That’s why I think you see so many pictures in obits of people who passed at 85 and show a photo of 25. That’s who we believe we really are. (By the way Pam … love the hairdo!!! i had one just like it.)

  4. Christine Tipping says:

    Your youthful beauty has not wained! How lovely!

  5. Pamela says:

    Joe, you made my day…actually more like my week. Thanks so much. And the hottest place to be in “my day” was Smitty’s Drive-in, right across from Trainer’s Restaurant. Very impressed that you recognized an Upper Perk letter sweater. You really are a “Homey”.

  6. Renee says:

    Just loved this, Pam. What a thoughtful post and yes, so true. I’m not sure who I am in my mind…but somewhere in my 20s or 30s feels about right.

    Thanks for sharing on Facebook!

  7. Pamela says:


    As a fellow writer you know this was not an easy piece to write. But that photo brought on a very introspective walk down memory lane that I felt compelled to share. So glad you liked it…

  8. Pamela says:


    I think we’re all about 21 in our head…or maybe 31 depending on the journey we’ve taken. And yes, I’m sure 45 is the new 21, at least that’s what I’ve heard. But since I’ll never see either of those numbers again, I’ll have to take your word for it.

    So glad you liked the post. Always nice to hear from you.

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