We found a box of old photos in the attic last week. It was like peering into a time machine. There was one of me as a wary kindergardener. I have a vivid memory of the day it was taken four score years ago. An intinerant photographer carrying a large long-legged camera rang our doorbell one afternoon and talked Mom and Dad into spending a dollar on my portrait.
It was a scary experience for a little kid. It looked to me like the man was hiding behind the camera inside a black tent with one arm stuck out waving a stuffed canary in the air. Back then photographers said, “Watch the birdie” instead of “Say cheese”. I managed a nervous smile long enough for him to get focused inside the tent and make a quick snap.
I was looking at this old photo when a friend dropped in and asked, “Who’s that?” I was surprised by the question. “Can’t you see the unmistakable resemblence?” I asked.
“Are you trying to tell me this cute little boy is you?” he replied.
“Well, I admit I’m much taller and heavier now, but I’ve got the same smile, the same dimples and the same hair.”
“The height and weight gains are obvious,” he said. “but did you have caps on your teeth back then and I don’t see any dimples now unless they’re under your wrinkles. And what do you mean by ‘the same hair’? Are you including all those gray wisps coming out of your ears and nose? (I really have to get some new friends.)
“Okay, I’ll admit the little tyke in the old photo and I are not complete lookalikes, but I also find it hard to believe I resemble the old guy in the pictures taken at last month’s family get-together . Cell phone photos can be a little distorted, you know. I was sure I’d been electronically aged in the process.
I was brought back to reality yesterday while on an elevator in a medical building. The car stopped, the door slid open, and an old man was out there just peering in and not moving. “Make up your mind, you old coot,” I thought. “Are you coming in or not?” I raised a hand motioning him in and he also raised a hand , inviting me out. I was trying to figure if the old geezer wanted to duke it out with me when I realized I was looking into a full length mirror.