I usually only venture home to Honolulu at Christmas, but June 2, 2006 was a special date.
I lugged a 60lbs Pelican case with lighting gear from New York to Honolulu. I packed my camera, lenses, flash cards, cords, wizards, and sensor brushes to make sure my CCD was clean. My parents are always overwhelmed at the burgeoning photo supplies I lug home. But as I said, June 2 was a special date.
My grandfather was born on June 2, 1906, and this year celebrated his 100th birthday.
It’s tempting to get overly sentimental about the occasion. After all, he’s the oldest person I know, and he’s my grandfather. He traveled on a ship by himself in 1919 to immigrate to Hawaii. His birth preceded the discovery of human flight, the theories of relativity, movies with sound, two world wars, television, the transistor, nuclear power, space travel, playstation, cellphones, the transistor, unleaded gasoline, the Internet, the 35mm camera, polaroid, and the digital camera.
My Uncle Ronnie put together a presentation on DVD that chronicled his life with various photos. The photos are remarkable not because of the technical prowess or because they capture the life of a famous man. On the contrary, they are simple images of a simple man. Yet they are so powerful to me because they represent a man I’ve known all my life prior to knowing him.
Memories fade, yet the photos remain as an absolute capture. A fraction of a second of a life over 100 years old.