The truth is, most of these images are crappy copies of crappy copies; but then, at this point, the original is long gone, so...
This page isn't so much a catalogue of the man; but rather, a place to hang a few pictures and say a few words... as much about him as me, for that is the way of a curated view.
Is it accurate (let alone fair) to represent a man in his dying years? Or even to display his effects, after the important (valuable) bits have been scooped up and taken away?
Probably not. But for the most, that's what I have to work with. Of course, in my eyes, he had been dying for many a year. But I'm sure we'll come back to that... eventually.
Way back in time, there were these people. I haven't a clue who they were. In time, all knowledge of them will pass away.
Here we have my father's mother and father... or my grandmother and grandfather on my father's side, if that's somehow makes more sense. This is literally how I remember my grandfather, sick, dying, sitting in a chair. It is, essentially, my only memory of him. It's not much of a memory.
I assume this is my father and his brother; though I could be wrong.
This, of course, is a much better picture of the two, capturing a childhood in one easy to understand image.
Jim (also dead) on the left, his brother (a.k.a. my father) is on the right.
My father had a PhD in Chemistry (thesis below).
I could be wrong, but I think he viewed chemistry more as a way of avoiding a factory job (a means) than something he cared about intrinsicly (i.e. an end in itself).
We really did not talk much about chemistry.
It can be tiring talking to a lay-person about your passion, so maybe I just wasn't that interested... or maybe, neither was he.
I haven't used category headings thus far, so why start now? However, the images are grouped sort of conceptually. And this would start the hobby section.
Expensive platinum wire... along with an extensive laboratory set up (above).
My father had the most elaborate train set of anyone I knew. Of course, he didn't belong to a club, so I never did see much by way of competition.
He tried painting for a bit. These images likely meant little to him. Or, that is to say, painting lasted a single season in his middle age and not much more.
I wonder where these will end up?
Was he a 'Big Fisherman'? No, I don't think so. But one or two family vacations revolved around the pastime. I'm more inclined to believe he took it up to bond with his children. Though there were likely some aspirational macho undertones.
Without a doubt, he was a family man. It's hard to say whether he was a 'Good Father'? What does that look like? He didn't beat me... too often. You know, it was a different era, a different age.
I liked the fort. Just like the train set, none of the other father's even came close. He was good at doing things like that right.
Stamps and coins follow.
In point of fact, I believe I bought this album back in my youth, but I abandoned it years ago. Or maybe it was always his... and I simply remember it from his collection.
It doesn't matter. He cared about stamps. I do not.
I never caught the collector's bug. He definitely had it... or maybe, he just had enough money that giving it a go seemed like a good idea. After all, it's easy to 'win' at collecting if one throws enough money at it.
I actually don't know how I feel about this picture. Doesn't look like a real smile... and then, it does.
Stamps, coins, this isn't even the good stuff. And this is why I stopped collecting. Why was I collecting? So when I died, someone else would have fun going through my stuff?
It just doesn't seem like a very compelling reason to me. Guess what, you can go through my website both now and then: the gift that keeps on giving...
The over-arching theme of this page (I have already decided there will be others, well, at least one) is These are the pictures I took of my father's effects.
One of those effects was this hat. That's me wearing the hat. I remember that hat. I believe it was the same hat he wore one summer while visiting me at camp, probably when I was ten, so 1975. Were cowboy hats big that year? How about sideburns? He had sideburns that year, as well.
Yeah, there you go. Just like I remember: sideburns. I couldn't tell you if this was before or after, in planning or retrospect.
He may have been a lot more fun than I remember. I mean, I'm not a party animal, so it's not like we got drunk together. We talked philosophy, which doesn't tend to bring out the inner party animal.
And now we're back to his condo.
Not much to say here: a picture being worth a thousand words.
I think it would have been fun (yes, fun is the right word) to go through all of the stuff when the shelves were still full. But that was not to be. It was interesting what was left behind.
One wonders if he intended to leave all that he left behind...
You know, the weird thing, as well scraped as my files are, I've kept so much, the paper trail for those who wish to see is likely a mile wide.
His drivers license photo...
I wonder how much of this I should blur.
Does that sort of thing matter anymore?
Eh, I have weeks yet to decide, before I post this live.
The good idea is to turn this into a spy license.
Most of the paperwork is boring, mundane.
As are most of the effects; those that went unclaimed on the first go through.
Still, for me, it's a study in closure... or that's what I'll call it. I hardly want to keep a coffee stain, but there is a memory there. So, perhaps I do and will endeavour to keep it close to my heart for all time to come.
But then again, it really is so much junk, better to throw it out wholesale, forget the lot, and purge it from the mind.
Eh, maybe that's the wrong idea and I just can't see clearly.
I know that makes no sense, to you, but to me it does.
I have bad eyes like my father. If I was the collecting sort, this is the type of thing I'd stock up on, no value to anyone else, except for, perhaps, one, who may one day share his fate.
In the end, it's the things no one else will know, can ever understand, gone forever, that emptiness that will never be made whole again.
This is where his desk used to be. I really would have liked to sit at it one final time... or really just sit at it, at all. I mean, when I visited, he would be the one sitting at his own desk (just makes sense), so I hardly ever did.
Still, these pictures of carpet, empty spaces, looking for closure, this, right here, probably as close as I'll ever come. There's some serious truth in those photographs.
And what have we here, but an image to go with a story from so long ago.
Alas, no more stories.
Luck of the draw, his time has come... or the weight of the world too much.
Don't take it too seriously, Old Man.
My time will come soon enough.
In the meantime, every time I eat pizza...
I'll try to remember my father, the best part of who he was...
There is no more...
© 2016 Copyright Brett Paufler