Ugh.. today’s postcard is a welcome respite from reality. Normally we’re on top of things, but dealing with parking tickets, traffic citations, and banking errors all led to a very frustrating week. Time to take a walk down memory lane! There are two things that makes this post card so incredibly special. First, I took the photograph on the front. Second, I developed the photo on this postcard paper myself!
I had a very busy summer between 5th grade and 6th grade. I was about to turn 12 years old, and I had both a creative summer class and an international summer camp to attend. I sent this post card from my brother from summer camp. It reads:
How are things going? It’s the 3rd day of camp and wet. I made lots of friends and am having lots of fun! See ya soon!
The international summer camp was actually a Girl Scout jamboree – attended by Girl Scouts (and their equivalents) from all over the United States and several other countries. I specifically remember two countries included Taiwan and Japan, because I had my first taste of seaweed at the ‘cultural fair’- soooo weird as a 12 year old, but delicious! I think that may have been the most “exotic” food I had tried up to that point, other than Alligator-on-a-stick in New Orleans.
My favorite memory of camp was just wandering around on the trails. Sometimes I like to do that even now – I find a relatively safe wooded area with streams and paths, and just walk and daydream, reflect and observe. I recall feeling so independent – I could wake up whenever I wanted! I could decided which activities to attend and which to skip! I could decide for myself that I wanted to do the polar bear swim in the lake (fed by a cold spring) at 6am!
There are several places and times in my life where I have felt truly serene, at peace with myself and with my surroundings. The most recent was floating in the warm, enveloping waves of the Caribbean in St. Kitts. Wandering the woods at that summer camp – listening to the leaves rustle and the birds sing, noticing little animal paw prints or giant glacial boulders without regards to time or responsibilities – was another.
These are the experiences I strive to recreate in my life. That sense of serenity and peacefulness is my favorite sensation to attain.
Captain’s Cove Seaport, Bridgeport, CT
But there is another aspect of this postcard that requires some attention – the subject matter of the photograph!
Earlier that summer, I attended a class that met for a couple weeks. We tackled various creative tasks – I learned how to make my own recycled paper, how to decorate a cake, how to play capture the flag, and my favorite part – how to take and develop a photograph!
We took a trip down to Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Captain’s Cove is a tiny attraction on Long Island Sound, with tiny shops (really tiny, think 10 feet by 10 feet as a large shop) filled by local craft people. There’s an excellent ice cream shop, and an absolutely delicious casual seafood restaurant. If you plan ahead, you can take cruises around the harbor.
During our trip, we took photos throughout Captain’s Cove. I remember my favorite shot was the image shown on the post card. As all 12-year-olds do, I felt that sense of alienation that determined my favorite photo of the bunch to be a gloomy, dramatic photo on a stormy day with an eerily empty picnic setting and not a soul in sight.
After we took our photos, we were able to use the dark room at the local public high school to develop our negatives, and then to print a few of our favorites. What a complicated process that was! I don’t really remember the details of it, but I remember feeling deeply satisfied that I was able to create something out of my imagination and translate it into something physical.