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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Child is father of the Man

Some students (and the teacher) from my first grade class at what was then known as Boring Grade School in Boring, Oregon (now known as Naas Elementary, after the principal of the same era -- he died shortly after he retired from the school). The class photo resurfaced recently -- in fact, I had no memory of it existing. To answer the obvious question: Sometimes the school was boring, sometimes exhilarating; And there is much about it I can't recall at all. Putting names beneath the class pictures was seemingly beyond the technology of the day. Who were these wild children? Myself in the large-striped shirt. I can link some faces to names, with some I recall the faces but not the handle, others leave no trace at all in my mind. Who's the sharp-looking dude in the checked sport coat? I ran across the obituary of the guy in the upper right corner in a local paper a year or two ago -- as H.P. Lovecraft put it in one of his letters (with reference to the then just-deceased President Warren G. Harding), he had the good luck to shuffle off this beastly planet. At least, that's one way to put it. One guy who appears here -- I have a vague dreamlike impression from when I was riding the bus home, of hearing some older kids discussing either him or his older brother having hanged himself (or maybe both of them committing suicide), as we passed his home set back in old trees. That event would have been a few years after this photo was taken. I apologize if I am misstating the facts or prematurely reporting someone's death -- the sequence seems like a wraith from interplanetary spaces. The Latino (or Native American?)- looking girl with the long dark hair-- I remember trying to impress her with the following story. When I was three or four, I inexplicably put my fingers in the open gap of a door by the hinges, and a relative unknowingly closed the door, catching the pinky, I think. Not recommended -- hurts like a sumbitch, although the bone wasn't broken, as far as I know. As if that story isn't good enough, I embellished it a little, claiming the bone had been extracted and replaced with an artificial bone after the accident (or something to that effect). Throw strangers together in a room and sequence them through decades, and all sorts of things may happen.


  1. I recognize a few of them, though I knew them a few years later. I start to channel some, reusing the faces as universal faces. Some remind me of the "Our Gang" crew--a real Robert Blake look-alike. The sport jacket guy looks distinguished, old for his years. I recognize the General, and I think I see the drawing-borrower, years later claiming my work as his own.
    This photo group would be appreciated by a Boring facebook site I saw recently, devoted to such things. Wanvig and his sacred watch parts in a bottle, never to find evolution to assemble itself over millions of years.

  2. Yes, that is the late General indeed in the upper right corner. The drawing usurper didn't surface until a year or two later, hailing from Vegas: as he told me, "I know every inch of Las Vegas." Can see why you might see him there regardless, the childish unformed clay having a universal cast, as you write. Jiggers the creationist!