I always had this theory that shopping secondhand was a bit like time travel. Previously owned goods have a history. When was it originally made? What purpose did it serve at the time? Who owned it? Finding the answers to these questions can mean forging a connection between the past and the present. Of course not every hideous vintage sweater or dusty ol' knick-knack has a magical story behind it.
But every once in a while I'll come across something that does have a story. Something personal perhaps. Something that once had meaning but now, for reasons unknown are given away to the the donation bins of Goodwill.
This is the story of Bill and Marge.
Two days ago I found their photo album documenting a road trip they journeyed back in November of 1988. They collected post cards, tourist pamphlets and took photographs of the roads and natural surroundings on their way.
|Hello from the highway!|
|Post card of The Appalachian and Blue Ridge.|
|A lovely post card that was never sent to Frank.|
|The Eastern Screech Owls of Shenandoah National Park.|
|Photograph of The Appalachian.|
|The Ohio River through Otter Creek Park in Kentucky.|
|Marge reflects on the journey.|
There are pages and pages of post cards and nature shots of Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Bill and Marge Echenhofer. I don't know them, nor will I ever likely meet them. I don't know how it came to be that their photo album made it to the shelves of Goodwill. I only know that I now own that album, a stock of memories that are not my own but somehow have come to make a connection across time, space and circumstance.