Sand House

Jones Beach, 1947. My grandfather was a photographer too. (If he had taken any other career path, I’m certain I would not be here writing this post today.) He wasn’t a journalist, but he wrote captions as if he was filing assignments for a very thorough picture editor. Captions for us to find.

He left a trove of slides with decades of “coverage” from his life. And on almost every slide, a date and a description. This one, scribbled in tiny letters on the photo above, is one of my favorites – it reads: “Mary, Bob and Dot planning a house in sand.” Best friends designing their young lives in a post-war world.

A perspective I’ve held since I was very young is that we are all fundamentally the same. No matter where we are from. Pop-pop’s caption made me realize that also extends to when we are from.

Dot is my grandmother (the one with long hair) – my Mimi. Mary and Bob were both at my wedding in 2008. These four were besties for life, only parted by death. To see them like this – years younger than I am now – mapping out a floor plan with fingers in the sand. It’s magic and authentic. These pictures and the words that support them inspire my work today. Illustrating livelihoods with these fleeting punctuations. They are moments you’ll miss in a blink, but are so powerful that they put a bridge on either side of 70+ years in a few seconds.

Keeping the story alive. Showing young Charlie Pop-pop’s slides.

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