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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Other People's Pictures - Inspiration for Short Stories


The Daily Sauce, Sauce Magazine's newsletter about St. Louis, says the Missouri History Museum is showing a documentary tomorrow night about people who collect orphaned photographs at flea markets. It's called Other People's Pictures.

It may sound bizarre to collect photos of people you don't know, but I so understand it. Old photographs are fascinating. I love that scene in Dead Poet's Society where Robin Williams has them look at the photographs of all the students who came before them as he whispers "Carpe" "Diem." Okay, it's a little creepy too.

The documentary features one guy who's mother burned all the family photos, so he goes around collecting photos and making his own "family" photo albums. Tell me that's not a novel waiting to happen.

Since one of my goals is to write a short story this year, I think it'd be great to look through some photographs for inspiration. And they would have to belong to other people because I already know the stories behind my family photos. Anyone got any old photos? My favorite of my Grandma is above. She was a Harvey Girl at St. Louis Union Station. This picture is right after she got off work. She's taking off her uniform and my sweet tempered Gram looks mildly annoyed.

4 comments:

roller coaster teacher said...

I love this writing idea! At a writing workshop (for teachers), we did group activity of looking at photos, creating a short story, etc. It'd be great to do with students...

Love the pic of your grandmother!!!

Tricia Grissom said...

Thanks. I love the pics of your daughter post toothfairy. Uber cute.

I'm going to look at some of the photos on the website for the documentary and see if it sparks a story idea.

glasshut said...

I go to a lot of auctions and have always thought it so sad to see family photos and albums being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

I want to rescue them all and give them homes.

Tricia Grissom said...

I'll have to check out the auctions. It is sad to think of all the abandoned photographs, though.