17 August 2005


in my tireless search for old photos, I have come to appreciate the flip side. I never paid much attention to the back of the snapshots until after I brought them home. guess I was too busy looking at the front. and then one day I discovered a world of goodness could be found if you just took the time to look. words, phrases, names and dates reveal themselves at the flick of a wrist, and you feel as if you have stumbled across the very clues you might need to unlock the mystery behind the unknown subject. such an eloquent vernacular, this text. what I have come across has often been charming and oddball-like, sometimes creepy, always interesting. scrawled on the back of the above photo in a faded and wobbly script:

"I thought I was a butterfly."

something about this makes me happy.


  1. so so true.... and eloquently stated. my grandpa (the great labeler) put stuff like that on all our family photos... it's like little snippets of coded history.... you must have a great collection!

  2. wow!!!! That is so cute!!!! I love it! It makes me cry a little!

  3. THAT is GREAT...even just a small statement like that allows me to read all sorts of interesting guesses into the subject's personality. I love old pictures. Dan and I have started a wall in our house for old family photos. They fascinate me.

  4. After I posted I was just thinking--it's good to be reminded that someone, someday, besides just you, will be looking at your pictures.

  5. That's so neat! I scored at a thrift store in San Francisco in April- and got a ton of old photographs with dates + names. I think it's so special!

  6. that is absolutely priceless! i love it!!!!

  7. so I stumbled across your blog one day when reading the comments left on a friend of mine's blog [studio 109] and what a great stumble it was. I really enjoy the little stories of discovery you tell and the genuine voice in which you tell them. This blog has become a frequent getaway from my work day and I look forward to the page everytime it loads...thank you for sharing such beautiful and unique interests.

  8. another beauty andrea! so many ideas float in my head what really happened just before this photo snapped and why he felt like a butterfly.

  9. so glad everyone has enjoyed this snap as much as I have.

    lisa-- thanks so much for commenting here... I saw some of the photos on your flickr of your grandpa's labeling... so great, so interesting. I love that you documented it, took photos of it... so obviously a fascinating aspect his personality!

    joy-- I know, there's something so tender about it.

    molly-- it's wonderful that you have old family photos (so many people don't know where theirs are) and that you aren't hiding them away somewhere. I love to see them on the wall (or in an album) when I visit someone's home. and I will say that it has crossed my mind more than a couple times, the idea that my photos may be floating around somewhere at some flea market years and years from now (though hopefully not). always good to label and be specific!

    joleen-- yes, you scored BIG! I rarely find old photos at the thrift store (I usually find them at the flea market, antique stores, etc.). you rescued them...! any plans for them?

    meridith-- somehow, I knew you would like this...

    barrettkroll-- seriously, your comment made my day. and I am honored to be a getaway in the midst of work... thank you for such kind, kind words.

    jan-- I know, isn't it fun to think about the potential stories behind the person...?

  10. That's definitely the best part. I love old postcard, just to see the odd comments people write.

  11. Great Picture! Caption should read, "Tea for Two and Two for Tea, me for you and you for me!" You're one of a kind!