Twenty-Five Years Ago Today

Over the last few years, I have inherited a number of photo libraries from people who have either died or lost interest or ability to store their photos. These photos range from the early 1960s to the 1990’s and are from many countries around the globe.

As I’ve gone through the collections looking for things that are useable for teaching or publication, I have traveled down memory lane with the photographer and his/her subjects. It’s been fun, interesting, and in some sense  a little strange to look over the photographer’s shoulder. I’ve seen 1000’s of vacation and family event photos mostly of people I do not know. Among the various photos, I’ve seen kids graduate, receive sporting medals, swim, feed animals, laugh, cry, and sleep. I’ve seen corners of the earth that have piqued my interest, and I’ve seen certain places so many times, I deserve honorary citizenship. I’ve seen churches built and rebuilt and remodeled. I’ve seen seminary students graduate and ministers ordained and members banqueting and picnicing together. I’ve seen people fishing, displaying their catch, and napping on the beach after a long day on the water. I’ve seen royalty and wannabe royalty. I’ve seen the wealthy and the pauper. I’ve seen logos of airlines that no longer fly. Through these photos, I’ve traveled to New York City, Moscow, London, Jerusalem, South Carolina, Texas, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Washington DC, and a bunch of other places, some of which, I can’t identify.

Many of the photos I’ve surveyed have been of locations, and many of them have been useable for my purposes. The ones, though, that tug at my heart and make me think more are those of people: Where are they today? Are they still living? If so, where? What are they doing? Do they have family? Do they remember being photographed? Below is one such photo, which was taken twenty-five years ago today. It was taken (presumably) in a kindergarten in Jerusalem by a Christian tourist. I wonder where these boys are today? They should be close to 30 years old? And the teacher, did she continue to teach or did she leave the profession to raise her own family? Perhaps you know, or perhaps more likely, this information is lost to history.


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