Saturday, March 05, 2011

Scenes From a Marriage

I've been working through a huge collection of photos and letters that appeared in my office a couple of weeks ago. So far, I haven't found anything amazing, but I have been touched by these photographs of a married couple:






These pictures of a couple, called Eddie and Irene, cover the best part of half a century. Their story is something of a mystery, but from the hundreds (literally) of photos I've seen, I think I would have liked to have met them.

17 comments:

Martin H. said...

You've done a good job of distilling those years into six photographs. What a genuinely, nice looking couple. The first and last in the sequence suggest to me that here were two people who knew how to wear a smile. Great stuff, Steerforth.

Just to reinforce the fact that Eddie and Irene are frozen in time, the word verification is 'static'.

Mo said...

That brought a lump to my throat, Very moving.

magiciansgirl said...

Unfortunately, Irene is looking a little hirsuite in the second to last photo.... :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree -- it would be nice to have known them. It's nice to see them age, so at least they were spared some of life's travails (disease, divorce, etc.) and made it to what? their 45th? 50th? anniversary. I hope they had a grand life together and wish them well.

Thanks for sharing, Steerforth.

Canadian Chickadee

Brett said...

And now they've probably both gone beyond. What a humble, yet glorious thing is a long and happy marriage.

Jim Murdoch said...

My daughter sent me this link: bookinscriptions.com

Thought it might be of interest to you.

DJK said...

Nice set of photos. I have a photo of my parents, taken on their honeymoon in 1945 (three days after VJ day). My father is sat on the beach wearing a three piece suit. He told me later that it was the only civvy clothes he had.

Genius Loci said...

Hi Steerforth. I've been reading your blog for a bit now, fantastic stuff. How superb that you have a job where you come across such social history. I find these latest photos especially emotional. Thanks for posting such wonderful images!

MTFF said...

Oh! So tender. My step-grandmother told me that the secret to a happy marriage is tolerance. And yet these two look like they had so much more..

Gabriela Von Bohlen said...

They are so cute. When I was a teenager, I swore I'd never end up as a part of a couple like this. Now, at 40, it's my aim.

christinelaennec said...

What nice people they seem to be! And they look like they're about 12 in the first photo.
I think the last photo was taken in the Outer Hebrides, possibly Harris.

Anonymous said...

Great photos. And the riddle of Eddie deepens. Do we still think he is the man in the clerical outfit in your 21 Feb post? And was that Irene next to him in that one too?

George H. said...

I like the fact that it is her hand on his shoulder in that first photo. Very nice. And I second Gabriela's comment.

Paul said...

Yes, surely that's Eddie in the clerical collar on 21st Feb, with Irene? They're both on the boat too.

Another great post, thanks.

Paul said...

That's also Irene in front of the ice cream stall as a girl, and on the scooter holiday (same scooter as Eddie is standing next to here.) Looks like you have a whole life story unfolding.

I can see how this detective thing is addictive!

Steerforth said...

Thanks for all the comments - much appreciated. I apologise for replying several days later, but my wife requisitioned the laptop for five days as she had a copy-editing job to complete.

I'm glad that these six photos moved others as much as they did me. It's curious how apt Martin's word verfication was - I've also experienced uncanny synchronicities with this (and also spellchecker).

I agree that it looks as if Irene and Eddie enjoyed a long and happy marriage. Admittedly, we're all guilty of constructing a desirable narrative out of six images, but I've seen a couple of hundred photos and they all point to a good relationship (in if, as Magician's Girl pointed out, Irene became a little hairy at one point ;))

I agree with the comments made by Brett, CChickadee, Gabriella and MTFF. It's more than just tolerance.

Irene was a Catholic, so I don't think that's Eddie in the clerical gear - he must have had a brother who entered the priesthood.

Christine was right - another photo confirmed the Hebrides as the location.

Thanks for the link Jim - I hadn't seen the site before.

DJK - Maybe you should post these photos, they sound good.

Genius - Yes, I'm lucky having access to this material. One day, I'm tempted to get the best of these images and exhibit them somewhere.

Paul - I've just visited your blog and really enjoyed it. It's a pity you aren't maintaining it any more (do you have a third blog somewhere else?)

Paul said...

Thanks Steerforth. I'm going to be relaunching my website in the next few weeks, and I plan to take up the blog again when I do, though probably intermittently. A lot of my attention has been taken up recently with the Dark Mountain Project, where I blog a fair bit:

www.dark-mountain.net

Keep up the good work! I'll make sure my new site links to yours.