Passed in the Family: a dialogue

R: We have heard of the fantastic job you have done converting your home into the spectacular museum of photography. I want to ask today. What allowed this to happen? When did you wake up and say this is what I want to do?

I: Well, I would say that I didn’t so much wake up as I was startled.

R: Can you explain that?

I: Yes. My parents were very good at maintaining their properties and i was…not. So you can imagine my feeling when their thirty million dollar estate was passed on to me. Now very good. I was thrilled to be included, but it wasn’t an asset that I knew how to use. I grew up in the country. I didn’t know they were my family. Can you believe that. I mean, everybody knows now, but at the time. That was…wow. Just wow.

R: So you were startled.

I: Yes.

R: And what did you try to do first?

I: I tried to sell. I was in the process of listing when I as out of town and I saw this old camera and I thought that would look perfect in the living room. I had not even sat in the living room, but that was my impression.

R: And did you buy it?

I: Absolutely. I didn’t have a lot of my own money, but I wanted to give this thing a chance.

R: Then what. Did you display it?

I: No. No…I. The next day I remembered we had to get this ready to sell and an old camera on the side table wasn’t going to give that good impression.

R: Of course. So where did it go?

I: Into my garage, but that’s where I saw these boxes of photographs from these parents of mine. They were of fantastic trips with camels, and steamboats, and picnics beside the sea. They were the types of adventures that only the rich would ever go on from an era that was gone. It was nostalgic and mysterious, and in selling the house I was going to give that all away. I canceled the sale and instead I invited all the relatives to see these pictures hung around the house. It was a wake of memories, it was an open house.

R: That was a beautiful gesture that you made for them.

I: From the son they never had, to the son that keeps their memories. It’s a journey.


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