Friday, October 01, 2010

Sepia Saturday 43 : Imagine The Moment


Imagine the moment. A young man - sturdy, proud, but perhaps a little wary of the camera - poses with his bicycle. A new century recently dawned : a century in which bicycles are likely to be just the beginning of the technological advancements which will propel young John Grindley and his friends into a new world, the economic and social architecture of which will be quite unlike anything his parents or grandparents could imagine. He may get to ride in motor cars or see foreign countries, he may prosper and leave his native Cumberland behind. But he will always have his friends : friends like Fowler Beanland. He takes a pen and adds a short greeting to the photograph : "To my old friend, from John". The task finished he takes his bicycle and wheels it out towards his rendezvous with the future.

The photograph was in the collection of my Great Uncle Fowler. I know nothing of John other than his name and this old sepia photograph. I don't know what future he had a rendezvous with : maybe it was a long and prosperous life, maybe it ended in the mud-field of Flanders. All we have is this moment in time. And our imagination.

You can imagine many other moments in time by visiting the other people who are taking part in this Sepia Saturday. There are links to all their posts at the Sepia Saturday Blog.

18 comments:

  1. News from Nowhere appears to be from nostalgia. ;)

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  2. So beautifully written. I imagine myself in his shoes and all the inventions and advancements that I will experience but haven't anticipated. It always makes me wonder what's in store for us that we haven't anticipated.

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  3. A moving musing, Alan. I am tempted now to construct mythlogies about the friends of my parents of whom I know nothing beyond those frozen moments.

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  4. A beautifully rendered post, Alan. I hope his future was long...

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  5. To my mind, this is precisely where Sepia Saturday excels. Wonderful post.

    Poor chap, though. He looks as though his youth has already been drawn out of him.

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  6. Lovely post Alan, I like the background details you gave for his era. I found it very interesting, he obviously thought well of your great Uncle Fowler to give him this photo.

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  7. a man abd a bicycle...oh there is a story there...just gotta find it...smiles.

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  8. Yes, it's all very suggestive of 'journeys' and 'travelling to the future'. Lovely. I would need a ladder to get on a bike like that, though.

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  9. A wonderful imagining! The handwriting makes it all so vivid.

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  10. A picture exists somewhere of me proudly posing with my first bicycle in almost the exact same pose. Something captured in this photo engages me utterly, and you have written its unknown story so beautifully.

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  11. It's a wonderful photo. I'm sure John was proud of his bicycle. The flowering vine behind him is incredible, too...I want one!
    Fowler Beanland is just the most amazing name..I love it. :) Happy Saturday, Alan.

    Several people have stopped by to call me Tallulah. :)

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  12. I noticed that you mention imagining him to be wary of the camera. In fact, his expression was the first thing I noticed - the man looks more than a bit apprehensive, almost as if someone were doing something just off camera that was really disturbing him.

    Then again, I remember that it didn't become the trend to smile for the camera until much later. In the early days of portrait photography frowns and serious expressions were the norm; I don't think I can think of a smiling portrait until the '20s or so.

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  13. what a grand photo...imagining is quite fun.

    i have a few similarly mysterious postcards to my grandpap from friends of his with cryptic messages. i really need to scan them and get them up as ss posts.

    i'm didn't jump on sepia saturday's wagon completely today - but did nod in it's direction by posting a photo in my triptych taken of the fam in 1965 - since it doesn't quite break the half century mark, i don't think i can really count it...ha ha

    slowing re-engaging with the blogosphere. thank goodness. what a long strange trip the last few months have been!!

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  14. Hi expression is curious, and he appears to be somewhat irritated. What a neat bicycle, I don't think I have seen one like that before. Great Sepia post!

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  15. lovely picture and it amuses me to see the photographer leaning over his camera in the window's reflection.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  16. Alan, I love your presentation of this photograph and the idea of John moving into the future. Great job! Great photograph, too.

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  17. This is a wonderful photo. I adore vintage pics of folks with their bikes.

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  18. The Look On His Face Is Sooo Pensive.He Maybe Was Asking Himself The Same Questions?

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