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Silver Anniversay snapshots

Agriculture.com Staff 02/22/2006 @ 9:27am

The project was mine, decreed my wife, since I am the one who best knows how to run the computer. Inferring that I am computer savvy is a bit of a stretch, about like saying Paul Bunyan was expert in forestry management. In other words, it depends on your point of view.

The project at hand was the scanning in and storing of family photographs we have accumulated during the past quarter of a century. The driving force behind this is the advent of our silver wedding anniversary in March.

Twenty-five years! I guess we showed those who said it wouldn't last! To her credit, my wife stopped introducing me as "my first husband" some years ago, and I no longer refer to her as "my starter wife."

Plowing through all those photos was a task that would have cowed Hercules. Assume we shot ten rolls of film per year. Take that times 24 pictures per roll, and take THAT times 25 and you get ... well, I don't have that many fingers and toes, but it certainly adds up to an awful lot of photos. And, like many people, we never quite got around to labeling them and putting them neatly away in albums.

So I dug into dusty shoe boxes and shoved my arms up to the elbows into musty Tupperware storage containers. It was like carrying out an archaeological excavation -- albeit one that detailed the lives of some shockingly ordinary people.

Here's a snapshot I took of my wife the summer before we wed. It's July, and she's standing in a field of corn that is nearly as tall as she. I recall urging her to "do something sexy," but she only squinted into the sun and smiled.

She never thought much of that picture but I regard this snapshot as one of the most alluring I've ever seen. A bonny young maiden standing in a field of corn that is about to silk! Can it get any better? She should have guessed what she was in for based on my reaction to that photo.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing for the past 25 years. For instance, here's a candid photo I shot one morning when I came in unexpectedly early from milking -- only to discover that my wife was sharing our bed with another man!

The "other man" was our son Paul, who was two weeks old at the time. He had woken shortly after I left for chores, and my wife had simply taken him to our bed and fed him, after which they both fell asleep. As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the sweetest pictures of the entire collection.

Here's a snapshot of our youngest son, Chris, as a wiry, muscular teenager winding up for a pitch. The mere memory of being the catcher as he strove to perfect his lightning fastball is enough to make my hand ache.

Now here's a different photo. It's a black-and-white newspaper shot of a group of standing men, along with our two small sons and me. It is labeled, simply, "silage crew."

It's an unsettling souvenir of the manure pit accident that very nearly cost me my life. Friends and neighbors came over to harvest our oats while I was in the hospital, and they came again later that fall when it was time to chop silage.

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