A few years ago I found a book at a thrift store. Well, that's not a big deal...I've found hundreds of books at thrift stores. I try sometimes to sell them on eBay. It took me over a year to get around to actually opening this book but when I did out fell this snapshot:
Click on picture to see it larger.
On the back of the snapshot is the notation "Taken in May, 1953. Marlene C. and me. Some gym class!"
I took the picture to my friend Sherry, who works in the school district accounting office.
"Say," I said to her after handing her the picture, "there are a couple of points of interest in this picture."
"There sure are," she snorted.
"First of all, they had some great gym outfits 50 years ago, huh? And then, isn't that Joan, who works down the hall from us in the public relations department? Joan approximately 50 years younger, that is."
Sherry said, "Sure looks like her."
I have to mention we weren't talking about the Marilyn Monroe/Mamie Van Doren/Jayne Mansfield wannabe, we were talking about the gal to her left, grinning her toothy grin, cat-eye glasses on beaky nose. We think it was the lady who had worked with us for years...who had a doctorate, was a teacher, writer, and all around smart lady.
I looked at the picture, again...hmmm. I didn't want to take it to Joan and have her say, "That's mine! I wondered where that was! Give it back to me!" so I never actually asked her if it was her, and if her booby buddy was actually a friend, or if this was someone's idea of a joke; maybe some pithecanthropus high school yearbook editor had posted it in the yearbook under the header, "Who do you think got asked to the prom?"
Over the years I've had some experiences like this. Finding things, I mean. Some mean something, some don't. Sherry's other comment about the picture was, "What's up with the pointy bra?"
What's "up," indeed! Sherry isn't old enough to remember pointy bras, courtesy of Howard Hughes, as we were always told. Nowadays the mechanical engineering on those things is amazing, but in those days it was a little more primitive.
The lady on the left, who we supposed was Joan, retired a few years ago. By my reckoning, if in 1953 she was 17 or 18 as she appears in the picture, she'd be about 70 now, which would certainly be the same age as our Joan.
As for the other girl, well...I hope gravity has been kind to her. Usually what goes up after a time comes down. Maybe I knew her, too, but at 70 wouldn't have recognized her.
As it is, I have this, once a forgotten bookmark, now a great found item, a gem of a snapshot up on a corkboard in my computer room.