Oh, look. I found one picture from 1958 that I forgot to scan in with the previous ones from the '50s. Religious paraphernalia on the alter behind me suggests it may be some church ceremony or another.
Last I left this trip down memory lane, I think we were in 1966. Before moving on to some of the more tumultuous aspects of the late '60s, though, here are a few more pictures of happy American family life from the years 1967 to '69, starting with sledding down the aptly named Hill Road.
Another day, another hill, with my little bro. Badasses.
We were primarily beach people, though. There was always water. Making a sand I-don't know-what with my sisters and upside down brother.
Frisbee. Li'l bro in background.
Chillin' on Fire Island while sporting my coolest black felt hat with band made from a chain of beer-can pull-tabs (remember those?). My white portable AM radio (sort of a proto-boombox) was tuned, I'm sure, to 77 WABC.
The fam, relaxing in the backyard after a hard day at the beach.
Every summer, we'd break from the beach for a week in a rented cabin upstate New York. Here I'm sampling the pond's sunfish and perch population.
The four of us by the pond with the day's catch.
Mock turtleneck and hair down to my eyebrows: the date on the back of this photo confirms it's 1969, making me 15 years old by this time.
Zen Master Dogen says it's incorrect to think that firewood becomes ashes and that ashes were once firewood. Since it's always the present moment, firewood is always firewood right here and right now and ashes are always ashes right here and right now - it's only the mind that constructs narratives that try to link the memories of the past to the concrete reality of the present.
On the other hand, though, it may be better still to not think of either firewood or ashes as separate "things" but as parts of a continuous process - hard wood that transforms to soft ashes that becomes soil that gives rise to trees that produce firewood. So on the one hand, the young people in these pictures did not become me and my siblings; but on the other, these young people, and me and my siblings, are not separate entities, either, but all part of an interconnected, continuous one. And now that you've seen these pictures and we've entered your consciousness, even if ever so briefly, you're a part of that one, too.