Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Chess Box Full Of Memories (Sepia Saturday 415)


Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week shows two railway workers in Finland playing chess during a break from work. That stance of studied concentration is matched perfectly by my picture which features a chess game between my father and myself. The photograph must have been taken by my brother, Roger, and it dates from around 1965 when we were on a family holiday in Scotland.

The image - which is a scan of an old 35mm colour slide - is a perfect example of how old photographs can let loose a flight of memories. That red striped Dennis-the-Menace shirt, I can remember with such clarity I am almost tempted to check to see if it is still in my wardrobe. Those boots which have been set out to dry in the sun, just before (or possibly just after) they were cleaned and "dubbined" to waterproof the leather. They were used to climb the mountains that can be seen in the background which, I believe, were on the banks of Kinlochleven in Scotland. The car and the tartan travel blanket open up another box full of memories: that shade of pale blue, the shine of the chrome bumpers, the wing mirrors sticking out like antlers. My mother, Gladys, pinny-wrapped, watching with a degree of proprietorial interest.

I dare say that I can enlarge the image and review the state of the game and decide whether or not I was in a winning position. That, however, would take my attention away from the image itself: a random image, but one dripping with memories.

12 comments:

  1. You and your father had boots, but I wonder if your mother didn't hike...they are certainly "serious" boots. What fun camping as a young man, and all that folding furniture to be comfortable as well!

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  2. And I like the chess piece box under the makeshift table. I have one that holds the chess pieces my father acquired with his army pay, in the twenties. One pawn went missing, but dad turned another identical one on the lathe.

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  3. My brother & sisters and I played many a Checkers game, but I was never interested in learning the game of Chess. Too much thinking about the 'big picture' for me. The same reason why I didn't want to learn how to play Bridge or, in later years, Wizard. I do enjoy playing certain other card games, however, such as 3-13. My husband and daughter and I play that one twice a day - once in the morning before breakfast, and again in the evening before dinner. Keeps the mind tic-tac sharp!

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  4. I wanted to learn to play chess, but lacked the tenacity to work on it enough to become good.

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  5. A lovely photo of concentration and focus. It's funny how a camera can record aromas, sounds, textures, and even emotions in a 2-dimensional image.

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  6. I used to play chess a lot. When I first met my husband, we played almost everyday in the student center. I played with my Uncle Henry. But I have no photographs of me playing chess. I shared one of my father back in 2015, along with my memories of chess. I don't play much any more unless I need to beat one of my grandchildren to show them I can. My husband plays with the grandsons and his brother. Nowadays we stick to parchisee.

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    1. And I love how old photos can bring back those days and forgotten memories.

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  7. I never played chess, but we had a checkers game. I think I still have an old black and white photo that I took of my sister playying checkers outdoors.

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  8. A lovely memory-packed photo. I particularly love the folding chessboard. Harkens back to the days when everything was made portable to be taken along on vacations and trips, such as the one your family took to this bucolic location.

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  9. My era exactly and I remember going with my parents on a caravan holiday - the folding chairs and tartan blanket (we didn’t call them “throws” in those days). My mother, too, always wore “a pinny”. Thank you for bringing back the memories - again you show us the power in one image!

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  10. I love the way an old photo can bring back so many sensory memories. Puts us right back in time. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the phrase pinny-wrapped. Wearing an apron?

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  11. socks and sandals!:)

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