Fifty-Two Years Later. Photography & Text by Keith R Wahl
Promises kept and desires fulfilled.
I have a quirk of mind that recalls all biographical information with extreme detail. My memory is flashing back right now to a 1971, seven-year-old me stopping at my grandparents on my way home from school. Grandpa was in his Warwick Neck study reviewing some postcards that he collected.
In the postcards were scenes of Rhode Island and Cape Cod from a particular photographer. Grandpa was singing away as he always did when he was in deep study. Always hymns. That day, it was "In the Garden." He stopped to give me a quick squeeze and then showed me what he was doing. He showed me how he loved the detail in the photos, especially of the ferries. Then, he lit his magnifier and showed how the production lacked the vibrance he was seeking.
Now, Grandpa was an artist of some repute if not fame. His murals were of such note that George V. Higgins made note of one in his profile of Grandpa for the Providence Journal. The reason why Grandpa was studying his collection of postcards was for a new creation that he never got to. But this was also about the point that my grandfather started introducing me to the camera.
I now flash forward to 1987. I was working full time about a year and a half out of college with a Physics degree. It was this exact last week in March as I write now. My grandparents were now in a nursing home in North Kingstown. In fact, Grandpa was now almost blind at 98. "Keith, I sleep and dream that I am working at my desk, then I wake up and it is dark." Then he expressed his desire to pick up the camera again and to pursue it. It was the last time I was able to have a conversation with him. Grandpa passed away and began his garden walk on April 1, 1987.
These photos of the M/V Martha's Vineyard have been a quest since I picked up the camera again a few years ago. I have been practicing on these photos since I took them last summer. I replicated the technique and subject of the postcard photographer from years ago. Then I added in the vibrance that my grandfather sought. These photos have been 52 years (on and off) in the making, the fulfillment of a promise, and bringing off a desire. And I am not done yet.
Order any of the images above as a print or bespoke item by clicking here: Photo Products - Bespoke & Custom - Made From RI
If you enjoy this post, please consider buying us a coffee to continue the work...
© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original.
Find out more about us by clicking the links below:
Keywords: Afternoon, Ferry, Keith R Wahl, M/V Martha's Vineyard, Made From RI Gallery, Maritime, Massachusetts, Nautical, Oak Bluffs, Photography, Ship, storytelling, Summer, United States, Vineyard Sound, Vivid
No comments posted.
Recent PostsSnow Covered Tires - Puns in Haikus. Photopoetry by Keith R Wahl True Nature Reflected. Photopoetry by Keith R Wahl When the Snug Harbor Beckons (a sea shanty). Photopoetry by Keith R Wahl. Belleville's Frosted Ritornelle. Photopoetry by Keith R Wahl Reflections and Impressions. Photopoetry by Keith R Wahl Westerly Station: Time and Place. Photopoetry by Keith R Wahl A Moment with Lincoln. Photopoetry by Keith R Wahl The Woeful Score of Gettysburg. Photopoetry by Keith R Wahl Freighters in the Port of Providence: A February Morning Scene. Photography & Text by Keith R Wahl Shell Sanctuary. Photopoetry by Keith R Wahl