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10. Nina

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When contemplating Nina’s reality, constructed from her photographs, I see it’s similar to my own. The particulars are not the same but the general is familiar. Although we've never met, we're connected. She died in 1985. Her only child died in 1993. That's when I found the photo album. Nina, how did you know I would adopt your memories

9. Karl

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I’m fighting back tears in a Vienna restaurant. A guy sitting at the table next to me is sharing tidbits of local history with visiting out-of-towners. He’s telling them about the Soviet soldiers who liberated Vienna in 1945. Thoughts about Karl have been percolating since I arrived in Vienna. We worked together for 8 years in Canada. I may have shared a story or two about him on FB. He’s one of the most influential people on my life. We spent months at a time, often just the two us, living in a tent way up in the north. He was the closest person in my life, and I was in his, but so much was unsaid. I was transferred to Denver. Karl got laid off. The last time we met was in New York. He was staying in a dumpy hotel across from Madison Square Gardens. We washed down a dozen amphetamines with a bottle of whiskey. He told me about being in the same room while Soviet soldiers raped his mother - and then they raped him - during the liberation of Vienna. He also said that he was in love with

8. Tramp Steamer

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Memory Dive: Cargo ship, Genoa, Italy, 1972. I went to sea as a Deck Boy in the British Merchant Navy to see the world. When I took this photograph I was working on my very last ship, the M.V. Mabel Warwick. We were waiting for an Italian dock workers strike to end so that we could unload rolls of Ravenscraig steel. I recall stories told by a colorful Mabel Warwick shipmate. He transitioned from a London orphanage into the Merchant Navy during WWII when he was only 13. After the war, he spent years working on Tramp Steamers. He'd been to almost every port in the world and sailed up all the big rivers. He made clothes from canvas and knitted his own socks. On Robert Burns Night he visited my cabin and read Burns poems to me for a couple of hours. He was a kind man. When I imagine a Tramp Steamer, this photograph comes to mind.

7. Mr. Bannerman

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Memory Dive: Photo of my uncle George, Aunt Jean, my mother, and the Reverend Alexander Bannerman. Dalavich Church, 1963. Mr. Bannerman was the first black person I ever met. He was a missionary from Accra, Ghana, assigned to our village church. He arrived at our door on a rainy winter evening. My mother - one of the very few villagers who attended church - walked Mr. Bannerman to the minister's house, (manse) which was in the forest about a quarter of a mile away. An hour later, there was another knock at the door. Mr. Bannerman was back. He said the heating wasn't working in the manse, but my parents figured he was probably lonely. He stayed with us for a few weeks until his partner arrived. Mr. Bannerman made our home a happier place. I remember him applauding Petula Clark when she was on our black and white tv. My first exotic food experience was a West African meal Mrs. Bannerman prepared in our house. I can't remember how long the Bannerman's stayed in the village

6. Thessaloniki

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Self-portrait (shadow) with Yogi, Thessaloniki, Greece, 1970   Dear Nina -  This is the most difficult photograph in my family album. When I pressed the shutter release button, w hat I saw  is completely different from what I see now.  I took the photograph a couple of months before this man  sexually abused me. He was my supervisor and my mentor. I was an object of his  desire.  I trusted him. He was grooming me.  F or twenty-five years  I  disconnected from  the photograph, or rather, from the memories  associated with the photograph . In psychotherapy I was able to unravel what happened, and subsequently, revaluate the photograph, and the trauma.    When I joined the ship Catriona was my girlfriend. We were intimate. When I left the ship intimacy was something else. After making the fifty-year anniversary photograph in Oban with Catriona, we drove to her house on the east coast of Scotland. Catriona had the letters I wrote to her from the ship. I did not recognize myself as the auth

5. Catriona

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Catriona, Oban, 2014 Nina, This should definitely be the first photograph. It's Catriona in 2014 holding an enlargement of a photograph I made of her in 1964. The image represents two fractions of seconds separated by fifty-years. Between fractions is what I'm attempting to unpack. My very first girlfriend is holding a copy of my very first photograph .  Two significant relationships;  women and photography . I was successful at one but not the other.  C atriona  introduced the ambiguities of intimacy.   Photography provides contemplation. 

4. Nina's Grave

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Nina's grave, Wheatridge, Colorado Dear Nina -  I  searched  for your grave  for years - without luck. Then out of the blue, I found it on a website. To celebrate the surprise discovery I arranged this little memorial  with a few of your Ellendale photographs . You're in Wheatridge, a couple of miles from the antiques store where I found your family album in 1993. Your husband Frederick and daughter Jean are with you. I've spent hours there. It's where I go to connect. The feeling is vague however.  My confidence comes and goes. There's no path to follow. I'm making it all up based on the premise (promise) that you're guiding me. After the first Visual Storytelling Workshop meeting I faltered. Fellow students seemed more confident about their photography and project objectives than I am. Guilt about my project being self-indulgent infiltrated. However, right after the class meeting I discovered the location of your grave. Y ou delivered a sign, a s if to rea