Mississippi move

Reasons to Keep the Second Best Shots

Deciding whether to save non-optimal images is something all photographers face. Back in the days when photographs were captured on rolls of film, it was a no-brainer to keep the negatives at the very least. Nowadays, it is tempting to delete the images we don’t immediately recognize as good ones. After all, high quality digital images take up a lot of space on hard drives. Here’s yet another reason to reconsider hitting the delete button. Yesterday I shared an image from a PTA meeting about 40 years ago. In the “best image” many faces are obscured. When I consider the sequence of images, however, I can identify many more people. You can see what I mean.
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Singing at a PTA meeting in the early 70s

My mother and I are working slowly but surely toward getting her 40 plus years of negatives organized, and a selection of them scanned. We got a big batch of scanned images back recently, and I finally had time to take a close look. Here’s a fun one. This was taken shortly after we moved to Mississippi, probably in 1973. My classmates and I are in the Richardson Primary School cafeteria, performing at a PTA meeting.


I happen also to be in the midst of helping plan a party celebrating the 30th anniversary of our graduation from Port Gibson High School. I have a feeling we’ll get some laughs from these old photographs. I see our class president Morise Duffin and Stephani Barnes, Tabatha Martin, Sheila Dorsey, Tamara Henderson, Joe Wilson, Patrick Mackey, Sonya Chapman. Other angles in other shots give me Pearl Smith and Dejuan Griffin. Help me with some of the other identifications, classmates.

Heroes & Friends

I spent Saturday down near home for the funeral of Mrs. Artemeasie Brandon. I knew Mrs. Brandon first because she raised my friend, Marhea Farmer, who I’ve known since second grade. Mrs. Brandon, 97, was also a quilter and I got to know her through an artist-the-schools program my mother created.
cq group
Here’s a photograph of Crossroads Quilters, a group I later joined, with Mrs. Brandon in the center. Later, when Marhea and I were in high school, we edited an oral history magazine that featured quilters, storytellers, folk artists, teachers, and other interesting people in the community.
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Mr. Nate Jones spoke at Mrs. Brandon’s funeral because they were longtime friends. Mr. Jones will be 100 on Thursday. He drove my school bus when I first moved to Mississippi in second grade. He made a special place for me to sit up beside him, and I loved it. I named my middle son for Mr. Jones. When my older sister, Emilye, grew up to be a historian of the Civil Rights Movement, we learned much about the courage of people like Mr. Jones, one of the first members of the NAACP in Claiborne County, who quietly but forcefully stood up for justice.
sarah marhea
Understandably it was a hard day for Marhea, who now lives in Michigan, to say goodbye to Mama Mease.
marheas boys
I had a chance to visit briefly with Marhea’s sons, Marius and Avery.
Rhonda & Ricky
And some of Mrs. Brandon’s other young relatives, Rhonda and Ricky, who went to school with my younger sister, Jessica.