Oliff’s Life

Looking at old photographs has got Richard thinking
Looking at old photographs has got Richard thinking

I came across an old photograph of someone last weekend that I haven’t seen for at least 30 years.

The colours on the picture had aged in that kind of old-fashioned way that photographs do.

The image was a snapshot from another time: another era, yet the photographer was me.

One couldn’t help but smile, firstly at the pose of the subject, then at the peripherals like hair and style of dated clothing.

The background on an older picture fascinates me too, from the newness of the parked cars to children playing games near a distant street.

Only after the picture itself had given me what I needed, the reason for its original intention, did I begin to wonder about one of the people captured in time.

Then she was my sister-in-law, one of my favourite people, yet following the death of my wife I guess she became my ex sister-in-law, which led me to think of all the ‘ex’ people in my life.

There have been the obvious ones that most of us have: the romantic ones.

Then there are the people that, for whatever reason, had an impact on one’s life.

I’ve heard it said that people come into one’s life for a reason, a season or a lifetime, but whatever the case there are those who I still miss from every decade, probably never to be seen again.

Ex-friends, work colleagues or that person one might only meet occasionally “in passing”.

I once had the pleasure of meeting composer Albert Hammond who, along with Hal David, wrote a beautiful song, To All The Girls I Loved Before, the lyric of which could easily be applied to the people we once knew or loved.

Then one wonders if those “others” have ever sat poring over old pictures and are confronted with an image of me.

I’d like to think it might evoke fond, happy memories. Perhaps they too smile and wonder, “Whatever happened to him?”