When I went out to pick up the paper at 6:30 the sky was clear, and the TV news said the rain wouldn’t come until the afternoon. I assumed I could do a run, but it started to rain just as I was ready to leave at 8:30, so instead I drove to the Y and ran on the treadmill.
Then I set out to tackle those boxes of slides that I mentioned on Day 67. The slides are exquisitely organized and cataloged into “groups” where a group is usually one trip, but sometimes a category. There is an index file that lists each group by number and topic and shows which box it is stored in, as well as a catalog that lists each slide by its group and serial number and its subject.
Over the past decade I’ve spent many hours scanning slides from various groups. I would inspect a group, and scan the slides that were either emotionally significant, or pictorially fine. For some groups that was most of them; other groups just a scattering. Those scans are now on my main computer as well as in the cloud. But now I need to get serious about finishing this job: looking through each unscanned group and deciding which, if any, slides in it deserve to be retained.
I made a copy of the index, and emboldened the entry for each group that hadn’t been scanned, and printed it out. There are 20 or so, for example group 102, “New England Fall 1972”. Sitting in a chair that faced a window, I popped each slide into a hand-held viewer and made fast editorial decisions. No; no; no; don’t care; why’d we keep that; no; hm that’s nice; no;… I set aside a few to scan. On to the next group.
I’d gone through quite a few when Marian’s sister Jean arrived at 1pm. I’d asked her over to go through the memorabilia I had that was purely Lacrampe family stuff. Jean’s attitude toward old stuff is very pragmatic (the Lacrampe women are all unsentimental). Anything she wants to keep, she scans into her computer, “then I toss it.” For this exercise we went through several piles of stuff, mostly pictures. She recognized most of them. “I’ve got that. I have that. Huh, I’m not sure I have that, I’ll take it and scan it.” I set aside a few pictures of Marian that I didn’t have already. Jean built up a pile of 25 or 30 things to add to her collection. The great bulk went into the “recycle” pile.
The only part of this that had much emotional impact on me was going through a fat envelope of memorabilia from Marian’s trip around Europe. She toured Denmark, Italy and England for a month in 1960. In the folder were all the letters she’d exchanged with her mother and brother, and about 40 postcards which she’d bought along the way and used for notes on each day’s activities. Of course, I felt guilty consigning all this to the recycle bin. It crossed my mind that I could read all these letters, transcribe them into a text file, and have a complete journal of that trip. But then I thought about how the envelope had sat in a drawer in the closet for forty-plus years and, as far as I can recall, she never got it out to look at it. And, as far as transcribing it — there was nobody in the world better qualified to transcribe that material into a computer file than she! And she didn’t. And who now who would want to read it?
There’s a SWBB game at 6pm. Just time for a nap before that. Results tomorrow.