Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Forgotten Past

Recently I've been spending the cold winter evenings looking at several hundred old photographs and postcards given to me by my Dad. As my Mom slips further away with Alzheimer's Dad has been going through the house cleaning out cupboards and closets that were at one time my Mom's domain. From the maternal side of my family a few of the photo's are written on the back as to who the person or persons are in them but most are blank. Lost in the past are people, relatives or their friends, a part of me that I'll never know. Here are some of the hunting photo's that sadly have no information on them. They show that I came from a rabbit hunting family. That comes as no surprise as I dreamed of hunting rabbits with beagles from my early childhood, getting my first beagle when in my early teens and hunting them exclusively up until my mid-thirty's when grouse and woodcock lured my away from my roots. On the rare occasion that I happen upon a beagle hot on a track in my wanderings I always stop and reminisce about my youth, of my wanderings through fields and woodlots following a hard hunting beagle of two, of standing and listening to the chase wondering if I had chosen a good spot to intercept the rabbit as it ran it circle, of trudging home with a rabbit or two pulling my hunting coat down my back with a beagle or two pulling on the leash wanting desperately to start just one more chase. Enjoy the looks of satisfaction on the faces of these hunters after a good days hunt and the looks of pride as they posed with their dogs.

And please date and label your photographs of your hunts so that years from now someone can say " This is my great-grandfather with one of his favorite hunting dogs" instead of having to wonder like I am as to who these hunters were and what part of my past do they fit into.