Albert Sidney Morgan, ca 1968.
Sid Morgan was one of the most colorful personalities in my family, and the old home place, though it has been gone for more than 40 years, is still seared in my memory. This photo, photographer unknown, captures so much.
Most of the photos of Sid and his museum are in black and white. This one was probably taken just when color photography was becoming the dominant medium and it’s easy to imagine this image in black and white. In fact, with Photoshop I could strip the color down to a grey monotone and create a more retro photo that seems to be popular these days. But then I’d lose the red shirt and scarf, which I think brings the photo to life.
Check out all the details, starting with Sid himself. There’s almost a smile, at the very least, a glint in the eyes. Self confident, and though past his prime, still very much his own man.
The house, too, is past its prime. The paint long-since faded. Only a little red remains on the porch post. The floor boards have decayed. Dry and dusty. You can imagine standing near the edge and gently nudging the boards downward with your foot and controlling their spring back into place.
The window to the left seems so fragile, as if it could be broken by a stiff breeze. The curtains may be brand new, but the context of the picture tells you they are not.
So many rockers to choose from, perfect for a quiet Sunday afternoon, as Sid tells tales of his trips down the Mississippi, and the Hennis trucks whine down Route 35 in front of the site of the John Amos power plant.
To the right is the front door. My grandmother, Opal Clatworthy, watches from behind the screen, almost hidden. What is she thinking?
What is Sid thinking?
Where is everybody else?
This is how stories start.
September 10, 2016 at 6:34 pm
Great story! I remember going to the museum in grade school and hearing his story about the Capital burning-and the piece of wood he had from it.
Keep on writing-you are good at it!
September 10, 2016 at 7:49 pm
September 10, 2016 at 10:26 pm
I didn’t know you were related to the Morgans! I remember visiting that museum and just being totally amazed and a bit shocked at the two-headed calf. I think I bugged my parents for at least a week with questions about it. I love the last line! So, so true.
September 11, 2016 at 7:32 am
Sid Morgan was my grandfather’s stepfather. We spent a lot of time there when we were growing up.