Memories…the Times of Your Life

If you are of a certain age, you will surely remember the Paul Anka Kodak commercials from the 1970s. If you are of a certain age, you will also remember pictures, and the fact that Kodak advertised more than printers and printer paper back in the day. These commercials depicted the “times of your life”, with the soundtrack being Paul Anka’s song, The Times of Your Life.

That Kodak commercial, and the following advertising campaign was created in 1975, and after the considerable air play that Kodak was giving it, Anka decided to release it as a single, and, as they say, “The Rest is History!” If you don’t remember the commercial, take a look.

The lyrics used in the commercials were:

“Good Morning, yesterday

You wake up and time has slipped away

And suddenly it’s hardy to find

The memories you left behind

Remember, do you remember”

In the typical commercial, this would be the soundtrack while viewing a montage of pictures from the past, including some shots of folks using very old Kodak cameras (remember them) to record these “Times of your life.” Then the spots would end with the voice over of, “Kodak Film…for the times of your life!”

I was reminded of this commercial campaign recently, because we are involved in a winter project to try and bring some order to the thousands of picture we have! The Christmas Gift Wrapping Table is back in the den, and we are in the midst of delving into boxes of photos that truly contain evidence of the times of our life!

As the parents of 3 kids, you can imagine that there were thousands of dollars worth of photos taken over their early years. Lots of Kodak film was bought, and lots paid to process once the pictures were taken. Unlike today, when you can instantly view what you’ve just captured, and retake if you don’t like it, back in the olden days, it was days and sometimes weeks before you knew if you got the shot you wanted, until they opened a Moto Photo, one hour developing store near us! Still you had to wait at least that hour to see if the picture was fuzzy, or if perhaps you captured a picture you never even realized was happening!

The above picture was a surprise when we got the film back from being developed. Susie had been taking some pictures of months old Krissi and Kenny, and didn’t realize she’d even taken such a great pose! This surprise picture was good enough to be featured in Twins Magazine and was the cover and the January picture of the next year’s Twins Magazine Calendar!

So as we go through our picture stock pile, there are lots of surprises. Unfortunately, not all as great as this one was! There are lots of, “What the hell did we take this picture for???” and, turning to each other, “Do you know what this is a picture of??” To be honest, as we go through them, we’re having trouble coming to terms with exactly what we are doing. One thought is to break them down by child. Another, perhaps breaking them into different families, or to just lump the obvious pics together, and make sure we separate and label the non obvious ones. Not sure exactly where this will go, but for now (at least) these are basic rules we are trying to follow:

1 – Is there anybody in the picture? If not, to the discard pile, unless its a picture of particular family significance (such as a former house, car, etc).

2 – If there are 4 or 5 of basically the same shot, pick the best one and save it.

3 – If it’s out of focus, too light or too dark, or a really crummy shot, get rid of it, no matter what it’s of!

We’ve so far come across pics from our honeymoon, from the birth of children, from vacations, school functions, pictures from our old boat (Atsa’ My Boat), holidays, trips to Ocean City and Disney World, and just about everything else you can think of. Our work table is an organized mess, with various piles of pictures that may or may not go together, or that we may not even keep!

Take a look….

One thing we are going to try and do, is something that neither Susie’s Mom nor my Mom did. Both of our Moms died at the age of 95, and we inherited a lot of pictures from them, In many cases, we have absolutely no idea of who the people in the pictures are, or where or when they were taken. Our goal is to make notes on any photos that the kids wouldn’t immediately recognize, We hope to not dump pictures like that on our kids someday!

Meanwhile, as we go through this project, we are indeed unearthing the visual proof of the “memories we left behind.” Just like in those old Kodak commercials, all these “memories” started as printed photos, and they are indeed of The Times of our Life!


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