I weep

Perhaps he dropped the slide box.  Each little Hanimex bay is labelled, but the dates and the places are wrong, or the slides are in the wrong place. I understand something of the frustration of an historian. I know we didn't go to NSW in 1966. And even if we had, why is there a slide that I'm pretty sure is of the harbour in Port Lincoln?

Some things I recognise. It clearly is Mel ready to go courting. And that does look like Mum on her honeymoon.  And I remember the old tractor−the Massey-Harris, which I was too young to drive. I remember the pride of the new Nuffield. I'd bet that photo was taken just before Old Faithful took a long slow drive over to Perry's at Crystal Brook.

But that quintessential Australian landscape which is so evocative of dry scrub and granite country, but not quite anywhere I've ever been? No idea.

Dad had no pretensions to being any sort of Ozymandias; the only photos that are labelled are family; he wrote on the prints!  Yet it fills me with more grief than I ever expected when I see all these fading, staining memories; the dyes are clotting; old dust is now glued on grime. It takes twenty minutes to make anything of a slide. Some are irrecoverable. And I don't know where they are. I weep. My memories will fade, too. Adjust-Colour-Fade Correction, White Shift and High-Pass Sharpen will do nothing to prevent my slide out of memory. But I weep not for myself. I weep for my father, whose memories were worth more than old brittle plastic and mixed up dates.


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