I went to the wake of an old school buddy last night, I have had a handful of school mates that have passed on since high school, but last night’s one was the younger brother of a good friend of mine back in the day.
We all grew up in the 70’s in New England and some of my fondest memories were of all of us playing street hockey imagining ourselves as the next Stanley Cup winning Bruins team.
We all intermittently kept in touch through the years but life happens and family and raising kids take the place of old friends. Several years back Stevie contracted EEE. Eastern Equine Encephalitis. It ravaged him,he ended up beating it but he developed a seizure disorder. He kept it in check enough to get married and have a somewhat normal life. But after about 15 years of dealing with it his body gave out. He had a massive seizure and passed away this past week. He was a great kid, had an awesome spirit, and was a ferocious competitor, he also had one hell of a slap shot.
As I said before, we all grew up in the same neighborhood, we were all middle class families, into sports, girls, cars and all the things that go with it. I noticed when I went up to pay my respects that they had a picture board displayed with candid shots of Stevie through the years. Its strange how things hit you at the weirdest times.
I was looking at all the pictures, remembering the good old days when the actual photos struck me like a bolt of lightning. There were all different camera type shots that made up the collage of photos and I realized that they looked exactly like my mothers box of photos of us growing up.
There were the real old baby photos from the early 70’s taken with the old Kodak flashbulb boxy type camera (the first generation of color photos), then there were middle school pictures taken with the new "top of the line" instant cameras (the kind everyone would shake out to make the image come out faster).
At the same time in history school photos were all about the trick photography fancy stuff and there was an old 3rd grade photo of him with a full front profile background and then in the foreground was a right profile superimposed looking shot. I remembered I had one of those somewhere and how I was amazed how they made them look like they did. I also remembered how I had gotten into a fistfight a few days before the photo session and that my front tooth was missing in that shot.
More shots came into view and I noticed that the high school aged photos were 35 millimeter (larger photo paper and more vibrant colors) and then the newest photos were all digital prints.
I realized that in those photos were not only Stevie’s personal history, but the history of our generation.
I paid my respects to the family, remembered the old days and left to go back to work. Time waits for no one, I had a shots fired call just minutes after I got settled back in my sector.