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Monday 22 November 2010
Standing on the side of the road last week (don't ask why, it's not important right now), I came across a bunch of vacation slides that had been tossed onto the side of the busy highway and run over by countless cars. They don't scan well, but they show a pleasantly unintelligible jumble of slice-of-life in middle-America, from a Boy Scouts soapbox derby to Mt. Rushmore. I include some of the more interesting images that survived the traffic below.
Hopefully there was some significance to this slide other than the highway. You know it'll be a long show when someone dimmed the lights, turned on the slide projector and started with, "this is the road we took as we started our vacation!"
I'm sure that they didn't have color photography on the Oregon Trail, so I'm guessing that this is an "historic re-enactment." Ain't that America: someone probably drove a car for hundreds of miles on the road seen above to for the opportunity to ride in a Conestoga wagon.
I know it's hard to see in this scan, but the woman in the back center is wearing a gingham bonnet, probably a rarer sight than a wagon train.
This image is clearly a lecture to hospital patients. So this is a boring vacation slide of people being bored. Ouch.
I think that there's something sort of awesome about these seemingly random memories trapped in plastic amber found scattered on the side of the highway like so much trash. It's like finding dinosaur bones or a shipwreck: something that is interesting as history, but far more valuable to the person who lost it.