Bob’s father was the ultimate memory-hoarder. When Bob worked for the airlines, they took at least one international trip together each year as long as his dad was able to travel. I knew in the back of my mind that Copenhagen was a favorite, but that trip happened before I knew Bob very well. Bob always said he wanted to go back, but with going to new places, and then later spending time on health needs and hospitals, it was a trip we didn’t get to take.
After Sam and I came home from our own Copenhagen trip last October, I had a slap-upside-the-head moment, and remembered Bob’s father’s photo albums. Now I’ve got them out, and marvel at the detail: neatly organized prints, typed captions, and a three page trip journal. Does memory-hoarding get better than this?
It gives me a jolt to see these photos from 30 (30? yes 30!) years ago and know that we so lately walked some of the same paths.
The trip journal doesn’t give me any details about where they stayed. I know they went with three friends, stayed in an apartment, and when the apartment’s owners came home from vacation, they all spent time touring together.
It dawned on me that Bob had a framed print that might be related, so I found it and pulled it out for a look. The names in the captions are the same as the people they stayed with, though the date is an earlier year. I don’t know if they’re connected, or if so, how their connection came about, and there’s no one to tell me now. This will have to remain one more mystery.
Speaking of connections, I realize now that this explains the set of Royal Copenhagen dishes that Bob took such care of (but didn’t use), why he had the teak bookcases, the lounge chair and ottoman from the House of Denmark furniture store (all of which sit in my living room today), the Bing and Grøndahl Christmas plates he gave his mother each year, his favorite beret and navy wool sweater, and oh yes, that bottle of Aalborg aquavit that I found on a shelf the basement. This was a trip he cherished, and I’m sorry he didn’t get to go back one more time.
Color prints are not archival, and like all memories, these photos are starting to fade. I’ll scan some more now, and pass the album forward to the next generation of family while it’s still colorful.
What’s your favorite way of hoarding memories?
Thank you WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge for choosing the topic Family and reminding me to honor Bob’s father by sharing his album.