THAT WAS THEN AND THIS IS HOW

The photography exhibit consists of three galleries of gel-print portraits circa 1947-1965.

It is an odd time of day and I am the solitary breathing soul in a mausoleum of muted ghosts.

Each captured image of a life no longer lived holds me in an observer-subject bearhug of a quest for immortality.

Can I give them what they most want?

Can I search for that moment in time when their eyes electrified space through a camera lens and asked me a favor?

I give unabashed attention to a gangly group of adolescent boys in jeans and white t-shirts, Uptown Chicago, 1953.

I can smell their Brylcream and cigarettes.

I can see the testosterone almost curl the edges of the printed paper.

I gave them what they wanted most when I was with them.

Do I really owe them that much more now that they are no longer here?

A quick check confirms there is no guard on duty yet.

I place a fingertip on each eager boy and close my eyes.

copyright 2009

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