When my sisters and I were kids, our parents had a movie camera, a projector, and a movie screen. They took a lot of home movies. It was as common then as it is now, but the technology has changed dramatically. Still, I don’t think that the home movies we have today are enjoyed in quite the same way as they were back then. When you have to set up a projector and screen, and then put them away afterward, watching home movies is a big production, and one that doesn’t happen often. It becomes a special occasion that kids will fight to stay awake for. These days, it is often one person watching on a computer screen or a television, and there just isn’t the same crowd to laugh at all the funny things.
That was exactly how it was in our family. When we talked Mom and Dad into watching home movies, we wanted to stay up and watch as many as we could in one night. Asking to watch “just one more” was not unheard of. For our youngest sister, Allyn Hadlock, staying up was a little more difficult than for the rest of us. Nevertheless, on one night in particular, she insisted that she could stay awake for the movie. Mom and Dad put the movie on the projector, and we started watching it. It wasn’t long before Allyn began to doze off. Dad tried to keep her awake, but it was no use. She was just too tired. Before long, Allyn was sound asleep. The movie was just too long. Of course, we all knew that Allyn was sleeping, and in a way it was funny, because she didn’t lay her head down or anything, but rather looked like she was watching the movie.
I’m not sure how much of the movie Allyn missed, but even when it was over, she did not wake up. We turned on the lights, but she didn’t move. Finally, it was time to wake her up, and when we did, she was quite startled. Someone was right there with the camera to record the humorous moment, and I must say that I’m glad they were. Kids do such silly stuff sometimes, and so often we forget to record the silliness. Later on, all we have is the story of the funny event, but nothing to really show how it happened, but in this case, we had the ammunition to tease Allyn for years to come. It is almost all the ammunition we have on her, becaue she never got into trouble..just ask us, we’ll tell you. Sometimes it is the goofy things we do as kids that are the most embarrassing. So, here’s to embarrassing moments. It is impossible to go through life without them, and Allyn just think, at least you didn’t fall asleep in school…that we know of.
Looking through old photographs from a time when I didn’t even realize that cameras were something lots of people had, it occurred to me that when these pictures were taken, the people in them were still trying to figure them out. It was probably hard to figure out what pictures to take. I’m sure they felt funny posing in all the normal ways. I’m sure they were almost embarrassed when they first started posing for those pictures, and much like people were embarrassed about home movies when they came out. People used to run and hide, or even covering the lens to avoid being filmed.
I started thinking about the number of pictures I have seen in the past few years that were taken in the 1800’s. it seems that they finally warmed up to the idea of picture taking by posing like they were in a robbery situation. I suppose that a robbery picture was something they could laugh about, so they were able to relax and enjoy the whole picture taking process. It seems that pictures of robberies were what we in this day and age would have called now trending. It was the thing everyone did, like the shocked look photo, the exaggerated kiss photo, or the angry look photo. It was just something to make people laugh.
Acting goofy in the pictures probably broke the ice to a degree. It made the feeling of being embarrassed a little less noticeable to them. Many people are nervous about photos, in fact, I would say that most of us feel that way at some time or another. Maybe we should all try this trend that seemed to sweep the nation during those years. If nothing else, we would get a good laugh about it. I guess that’s why the latest fad in pictures come about…to laugh about something new that is now trending.