Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Legends in Their Own Time

Photo is of two oak trees in on my college campus in November 2008; picture found on

Last night's slightly-feverish sleep produced - as it usually does for me - a few askew but realistic dreams. Combine that with frittering part of the evening Facebooking away, clicking through black-and-white yearbook photos that pre-date the Internet, and there's no mystery this morning why I find myself stuck in a two-decade old time warp ... again.

We were reporters and photographers, copyeditors and business managers - some of us required to be because of our journalism class, others because of our love for the written word and the heart of the story. Nearly 20 years later, we are hyphenated and tagged, emoticoning, commenting, LOL-and-OMGing, Friending our still beloved professors who stood with us now and then, our anchors on the end of the grayscale photos.

All, that is, except two.

There are two ghosts in the photos, contemporaries to the ghosts that have been seen by some walking the tree-lined pathways of the campus, delighting that another bumper-crop of freshmen await the autumn's chilling tingle of their lore.

Our ghosts lived among us, at their desks, in their dorms, in their dreams of the future, and they were supposed to be with us now, not gone too soon from car accidents and cancer.

Their names are unhyphenated, untagged in the Facebook photos, but they are part of our comments and part of my dreams within dreams of last night, the ones that are unshakable in this early dawn. They were among us then, and among us today as we pick up their pens to write their status.


Unknown said...

Great work here capturing a feeling I was struggling with myself. At this time of year I often go back to the last summer Denise was waith us, as she worked to crank out the yearbook and was housesitting near campus.

Our whole lives were in front of us. Now, what seems a million years later, the ghosts slip in and out of our lives as we raise our kids and go to baseball practices and wonder about who such high aspriations became such normal lives.

What we do now seems somehow less than what we'd hoped, until you see you daughter palying quietly and contentedly with her little cousin, or you feel the surge in your heart when your son hits a game-winning double.

In that moment you know that tomorrow has become today and it's not a bad thing at all.

Carter N3AO said...

I never thought of myself as an anchor, actually, perhaps more of a dead weight! But, as one of the professors connected with Loquitur, it is such a great pleasure for me to think back on those days, and especially those long nights, before deadlines. When the photos looked good, and the tag lines were correct, I was SO pleased--and so proud of the efforts of the photojournalists. I can see now, on Facebook especially, such great pictures you all continue to post. You bring smiles to this old face, and that's a good thing. Congratulations to all the photo editors; you had such hard jobs, and so many people enjoyed your picture stories, especially me! Thanks for everything, Carter Craigie

Melissa said...

Carter, oh my ... what a privilege and a thrill to hear from you, especially since it was you who introduced me to Denise. I can't take credit for any photojournalism work in those days (only the writing of some feature stories) but I do know one thing ... it is definitely us who should be thanking you, my friend.

Cavalier92, great to reconnect with you as well and glad to see that you added this comment here. (I was going to ask if I could post it. :) Such poignant words you offer, as always.