In the late 70’s, early 80’s my dad went to auctions regularly, One night he bought an unopened box from a liquidated storage facility. One of the items in the box was a set of a few hundred slides and viewer. I was rapt as I worked my way through the slides. Watching this family go through their daily lives.
Then I got to several photos of an an 18 year old boy taking photos in his military suit with the family in front of their house. Every one was beaming with pride. It was clearly a happy day.
The next photos taken were of a military funeral. Full 21 gun salute. Coffin. Flag folding. Ladies in hats with veils. The family in tears.
I was in the 5th grade give or a take a year and it left a permanent impression on me. Like all boys at the time I liked actions movies. But after that, when i saw an action movie I would think of the slides and that family’s loss and guns and war stopped having the appeal and excitement it once did.
I have almost nothing left from my childhood in terms of stuff. One of the few things I have kept all of these years are those slides and slide viewer. They changed my world view and started a life long passion for photography. It’s crazy the power that some photons striking emulsion can have decades later.