We here at the Society for the Preservation of Nostalgic Photography would like to call your attention to our recent acquisition of any number of hardwood floor digital snapshots provided by noted field reporter and current postal drawing collaborator, Professor JT “Fingerless Gloves” Fingergloves, Esq. We hear at the Society for the Preservation of Nostalgic Photography that hardwood floors are rich with the potential for all manner of sexually themed jokes, one-liners, and innuendo. Sadly we have no sense of humor, much like our stone-faced friends at the Society for the Preservation of Hardwood Floor Sexual Innuendo. If you are looking for comedians, try the Society for the Preservation of Vinyl Tile Samples. We here hear that they there are quick to respond with a well-timed limerick should the need arise.
We take our time at the Society for the Preservation of Nostalgic Photography. We do not subscribe to any timetable for publication. We have no exhibition calendar beyond the small weathered broadside hanging in our lobby. We have no website of our own, preferring to trust the infrequent and casual postings of once-reliable bloggers who are sympathetic to our cause. We have no formal process for submittal and if your photographs are not accepted into our collection – perhaps they are not yet nostalgic enough – we have no means to appeal. Our hours are irregular, like the bowels of our elderly director, Danny DeVito, but not that Danny DeVito. That Danny DeVito’s bowels are as regular as the sunrise and the movements they produce are twice as beautiful, or so we have been told by Rhea Perlman, but not that Rhea Perlman. That Rhea Perlman does not speak of sunrises.
Our small museum is dependent on volunteer staff culled from retirement communities. We only allow the most nostalgic and brittle of the geriatric community to shuffle through our halls, pointing out features of nostalgic photographs with bony fingers while talking about some half-forgotten memory. The building smells like menthol medicated creams and Werther’s Original hard candies. The smells do not diminish the archival properties of the photographs, though they have been known to discourage more than one potential patron from entering. While our relation to the public is tentative, our desire to understand and preserve what they can no longer have but desperately want is deep.
We have not seen the original hardwood floors that these photographs document. The accompanying note indicates that they originated from a modest rental property in Lawrence, Kansas. We have no way to verify this claim as Lawrence, Kansas is not home to the Society for the Preservation of Nostalgic Photography and we do not get out much. At the same time, we have no reason to doubt the truthfulness of Professor Fingerless Gloves Fingergloves. He is not a liar and he eats a lot of soy.
What can we say about the images that might help you to situate them within the larger context of our vast collection? They are wood. They are hard. But not hard enough to withstand the abrasions, scuffs, scratches, dents, peeling, weathering, and wearing down of time. Try as some might to sand them down and refinish them with a fresh coat of stain and lacquer sealant, they will not withstand the pressures of daily life. They will wear out and we will spatter them with flecks of paint and fill in the cracks with compacted dust. We will accidentally spill a bottle of Bic wite-out correction fluid and in our efforts to clean it up we will only succeed at spreading it into a thin and hazy cloud. There is no reason to resist the aging process – better to take photographs documenting the moment, submit them to our archives, and remember it all fondly.