What a fabulous electronic new age we live in. Last month I came home to find a message on the phone that said “ Hi Norman, this is your cousin calling”.
He and I grew up together in Montreal, we are both the same age, we lived downstairs in a duplex and my aunt, uncle and cousin all lived upstairs. My cousin and I bicycled every where together, we drank pop from the local Texaco Station, played cops and robbers together and did all the things that children did in those days of zero electronics.
At some point my Dad got a bee in his bonnet about the relatives interfering in his life (my mother had died) and forbid me to play with my cousin. We found a way around that. We would go down to our respective basements, knock our special knock and I would swing the little door that covered the peephole aside and we would talk.
When I was 13 years old my father moved us to the South Shore, far away from Montreal.
My cousin and I re-connected when I was 19 and came back to Montreal live with my Aunt.
We double-dated, dropped the girls off after the date and then he and I would go for Chinese food. I asked my cousin why we never offered the girls Chinese food. He said “ Why should we “?
Both male virgins got married at 22 years old. There the tale ends…he went on to be respectable, I went on to be a sort-of hippy photographer.
That is, until my cousin’s iPad searches with Google turned up my web page and information. He did phone back and we just chatted forever. ….et voila, now we e-mail constantly.
Since I am going to Montreal in August for my nieces wedding, I will stay the week with my cousin in his condo.
I have gone back to 1960 in my photo/slide collection and found shots of my cousin, his grandparents, his parents, me at 19 years old, the two of us with our arms around each other at about eight years old. I scanned the negs and the slides at 1200 DPI ( so that I would be able to blow up the image and not have it get pixelated) in TIFF format (so that I would be able to edit in a non-lossy format). Then I Photoshopped as well as I could. Most of the negatives are very old and scratched, some have fog, etc.
Next I blew each one up to about a 5x7-inch and printed it on double weight tru-matte paper on my Archival Epson printer. They look wonderful and they will last for well beyond 100 years. Another month and a bit and the photos will be in my cousin’s hands.
Any questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to www.silverstonephotos.com.
Norman Silverstone teaches photography through North Island College and ElderCollege in Port Alberni.