Why Do I Love You?

Why do I love you?

Picking out one photo among many…. hmmm…. not an easy task. So I decided to choose this one, and I’m not even sure why.

The picture was in a box of items my husband inherited from his grandparents. We have not the faintest idea of who this couple were… but they’re so interesting! I want to learn their life story, but how can I? I’ve looked at the picture so many times it seems like I know them already, but alas, maybe I’ll have to make something up.

The back of the picture has a stamp indicating it was taken by Charley Mathers, Central Lake, Michigan. My husband and I went so far as to visit Central Lake in the hopes of finding a descendant of Charley Mathers who would have a copy of the picture or suggest where to look. No luck. Then we contacted the Central Lake Library, but they couldn’t identify the picture and said the descendants of Charley Mathers left the area many years ago and no one knew where they had gone.

So the question remains: “Why Do I Love You?” The answer is I have no idea! But the couple in this photo fascinate me. Their faces reflect a life that was difficult, the woman appears to have no teeth, and wrinkles abound on both faces. They’re very serious but have bright, almost penetrating eyes. They might be a little frightened at the prospect of having their pictures taken and are no doubt dressed in their very best clothing for the occasion. If only I could sit and talk with them for a few hours and hear their story.

Written for “Smile for the Camera” by Susan J. Edminster, August 10, 2008

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