Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Fate of an Old Portrait

Photographs were rare at the turn-of-the-century. I am certain for this young lady being photographed was an event. She looks to be in her late teens perhaps, and she probably came from an affluent family. She wears a stylish hat and roses. Surprisingly enough, her small smile actually reveals some teeth. Rarely did the photographer's subject smile much less part their lips. 

You have to wonder what she was thinking of as she posed for this picture. Probably hoping she would look pretty in the photograph. This might have been an engagement picture or one celebrating a graduation or eighteenth birthday. 

We will never know.  Just as we don't know her name or what happened to her in the course of her lifetime. 

However, I do know that this young lady probably never in a thousand lifetimes thought that her portrait would end up hanging over a toilet at a country-style restaurant in Alabama.  I have seen her many times because I eat at that restaurant often when I'm passing through. One time I had my camera with me and decided to take a photo for my blog. 

The fate of this portrait really represents what happens after a couple of generations pass away.  I'm sure this was probably sold off at an estate sale like most pictures of people who no longer exist, not even in memories of their descendants. They are used for decorations especially in stores and restaurants.  I've always loved to look at the ones in Cracker Barrel and wondered who they were and what kind of life they had.  I'm the same way about all the old stuff they have hanging from the walls and ceilings.  Old toys and cooking utensils.  You know they once belonged to and were used by someone, who left them behind in this world. The same is true of the girl's picture.

It is true of us as well.  There will be things we have, our treasures, that will someday be antiques. Our laptop computers may one day decorate the interior of a restaurant along with our portraits.  So be sure to smile and look your best when you have your picture made. A hundred years from now, you may be smiling over a toilet!

She needs a name?  Any suggestions?

6 comments:

Reina said...

Hum, Doreen? Lila? I wish she had a better spot...

Pat said...

She looks like an Annabelle...or an Elizabeth. I've seen that photo and agree with Reina. She needs a better home!

Marigold Lott said...

I like Lila or an Ada. LOL! Am off to the doctor. Will call you later.

Donna said...

Lily.....or Lillian. It also looks like she has cut her hair! Can't really tell about it at the nape of her neck...
Happy weekend!
I think I'll start smiling in photos...Hahaaa
hughugs

Patricia said...

I think Ada is a good done for the time period

Beverly Barton said...

She looks like a Martha to me. A good girl from a good family, someone who would marry well and produce half a dozen children. Let's hope that whoever this young lady was, she had a happy life. Although I'd hate for my portrait to wind up in somebody's bathroom -- especially a public restroom -- I suppose there are worst fates for an old photograph.