Just as our eyes are windows to the soul, a picture can speak a thousand words.
Often enough Mrs. Williams and I find ourselves in old curiosity shops in England. Folkestone and Dover in County Kent has loads of ‘em. Invariably I come across boxes of old photographs and postcards – images of eras bygone – of unknown aunties and mums and children sitting at tables surrounded by bunting, picnicking on the chalk cliffs or having a walk along the shingle beaches, identities, locations and incidents lost to the vagaries of time.
I was having a look round the iPhoto this morning and realized there were 54,000 photographs contained therin. Near all taken by me. Without context might they end up in box of dusty forgotten memories, albeit digital? I thought it would be fun to blog up an old photo now and again, speaking less than a thousand words – or maybe not – giving you a window to my own past.
Here then is the first. A view from my dorm room window. January 1986. Room 606 Q-Hall. Deseret Towers. Brigham Young University. Provo. Utah. From Sunday, January 5th until Thursday, April 17th I watched the world go by. It ended very different from the way it began. In the most marvelous of ways. Just back to school after three weeks Christmas holiday in Naples, Florida sunning and funning. How much I loved the beach and sun of Florida, I did equally love the winters night and snow on campus in Utah. There was a mystique and passion to the night. Quiet. Calming.
I lived on the 6th floor of Q-Hall at Deseret Towers. My room is gone now. This view floats in mid-air. Q-Hall and DT went under the wrecking ball in 2008. But in 1986 it was my epicenter. The view looking to the swimming pool (scene of many a scandal) and the volleyball court/basketball court. The tower across is W Hall. By the quietude it was the wee hours of the night. I pulled a lot of late nights in those years. Either coming in from a night of dancing or post roll*. The building off in the distance with the lights on is the Bean Museum where the Ramses II Egyptian Exhibit was then on. A blizzard was also on. The cars covered in a blanket of gorgeous fresh dry Utah powdered snow.
January 1986 would see me in transition from snobby prep to dramatic mod. Just three months previous I was playing volleyball in mild October evenings with my roommate Marc against the most aggressive Tongan women I’d ever crossed paths with. They were also damn good at volleyball. If not ill mannered.
Much changed in those few months. Marc and I occupied Jared Shepherd and Dwayne Fawlkes dorm room after both decided not to return for the winter term. I became a serious Falco fan at this time. He came out with a new album and had a huge hit in Rock Me Amadeus. I spent many an afternoon looking out the window at that view listening to ‘Auf der Flucht’ over and over whilst wearing a pair of tortoise Ray Ban Wayfarers and practicing my Falco poses.
As mentioned the building directly behind W Hall is the Bean Museum. At the time the museum had the Ramses II exhibit from Egypt. The night before this important exhibit opened my devious mates on the 6th floor repeatedly fired a massive surgical tubing slingshot towards the museum from a perch within a sixth floor dorm room, coating the side of the museum with giant embalmed specimen frogs. After splatting against the side of the museum they froze creating an interesting mosaic for the museum to sort out in the morning. The echoing sound of the embalmed frogs crashing against the side of the museum will stay with me nearly as long as the laughter from my fellow 6th Floor residents.
*Roll. 80’s speak for make out session.