Print Scan: Ready for school, 1969

Khürt Williams in a garden
Circa 1969 | Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner

I’m going through some old photos from two boxes that Mom brought with her near the end of last February. The plan was that Mom would visit for a few weeks before seeing her family in Bequia. Shaan and Kiran were at college, and Bhavna and I had just completed our kitchen renovation project. We had lots of space, and Mom enjoyed using the updated kitchen. Mom and I would go through these two huge boxes of negative and prints, and I would scan them in, attempt to restore any damaged images, and document the story behind each photograph.

But she had a dental emergency and wanted to visit her dentist in Charlotte. By the time she had resolved, a global pandemic had hit the east coast and shut everything down. Mom was stuck in Charlotte with my brother, Shane, and I had no way to meet with the sole remaining storyteller for these images. Dad passed in 2019, and my grandparents passed decades ago. A few months after her trip to Charlotte, she insisted she needed to be “home”, so we discussed the risk and bought her a ticket. She’s doing fine, enjoying time with her cousins and sisters, nieces and nephews.

I scanned some of the prints anyway. Hopefully, soon, Mom will be back stateside to tell me the what/who/when/where.

The little person in this photograph is me. I’m guessing that it was taken around 1969 when I was four years old. If I recall correctly, Mom probably dressed me for my first day of pre-school. At the time, schools required all students to wear uniforms. I think many still do today. I believe this is the house my parents were renting in the New Montrose section of Kingstown in St. Vincent. New Montrose mainly was a residential neighbourhood with tiny two-bedroom homes built on the side of a relatively steep hill. I still have these lucid dreams of being in a car being driven up and across the roads in New Montrose.

Dad’s eldest sister lived a few houses away. When I was ready for school, Mom and I would walk over to my aunt’s house. My older cousin Joann and I would then walk to the school together.

The entrance to the St. Vincent Botanical Gardens was across the road from the house. Mom took us to the garden often, where we were allowed to run around with our family dog, smell the fragrant flowers and watch the tadpoles swimming in the lily pond. The house is now the site of the American University Of St Vincent School of Medicine.

I shared the scan with Mom via WhatsApp, but she has no idea who took this photo and what camera or film was used. The photograph was most likely taken by mom herself. What popular cameras did consumers use in the late 1960s?

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