I wish I’d had the good sense to have carried a camera around with me 24/7 over the past 50 years. How amazing would it be now to have amassed a comprehensive visual record of all the places I lived, worked, shopped, and recreated? Of people, animals, buildings, automobiles, roads and other infrastructure, residential neighborhoods, downtown areas, retail establishments, restaurants, road signs, foods, drugs, clothing, household items, toys, books, record albums, interior decor, and all manner of natural/rural settings… If only I’d had the slightest clue how much everything would change over five decades.
Yes, the representations of some of these things can be found online — via google images, flickr, and other visual archives and search engines. But so much that has been demolished, eroded, and/or replaced is now lost forever, existing only in my (and hopefully a few other people’s) distant memories.
I’ve always loved history. But back then, all along really, I had no idea how much my own personal history would end up meaning to me, and how much it would break my heart that much of it has simply evaporated.
You know what they say about hindsight… but, man, how I wish I’d had the foresight.