Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past: Chicken Pox, George Washington, and Math Awards - Eric in the Spring of 1996

Eric with the chicken pox and with our bare-eyed cockatoo Genius, last week of March, 1996.
There's a story behind the weird title of this post.

My son Eric is about to start graduate school (brag time:  where he received a teaching assistantship and a tuition waiver, by the way, AND he was accepted into four other programs).  He has to fill out a health form and provide proof of immunity for, among other things, chicken pox.

My son was born before the chicken pox vaccine came out.  I was pretty sure he'd had chicken pox in fourth grade, but the form required an exact DATE.  Month, day, year.  So, I scrambled around looking for something with that information

I knew I had a photo of Eric with the chicken pox.  Sure enough, I found it.  Unfortunately, I had committed a mortal sin for family historians - I did not write any information on the back of the photo.

Some years ago, I put all my family photos into photo-safe albums in chronological order.  Other events pictured before and after this photo told me it was indeed in the fourth grade, most likely in the spring.  I also knew, from my Christmas newsletter from 1995, that we had acquired our pet bird Genius in July 1995 - which again confirmed that this photo was in fourth grade.

I even save old calendars, but alas, I did not note his illness on the 1996 calendar I'd saved.  However, a little more digging through another file (mostly full of stuff I should have thrown away long ago) turned up this letter.  Note the date and the first sentence of the last paragraph:

Easter was April 7 that year.  I probably sent Easter cards to my brothers and sister-in-law, and Eric typed this letter (proofread by me) for me to include.  I now had a date for the onset of his chicken pox:  March 24, 1996!

I thought I'd include photos from a couple other events that Eric mentions in his letter.  At left, Eric is dressed as George Washington for the "Festival of the Famous," the culmination of a biography unit his class did that year.  We found a lot of the stuff he is wearing at thrift stores.  I turned a pair of dress pants with holes in the knees into knee breeches.

And below is a (not very good) picture of Eric with his first place trophy from the Math Olympiads - rather fitting, since he majored in history and mathematics as an undergraduate, and is about to go off to study applied financial mathematics at the University of Connecticut.

And - his birthday is tomorrow!  Happy birthday, Eric!

(And the moral of this story?

On the backs, in soft pencil or with a china marker--don't press down hard with either--WRITE the names of the people in your photographs, the location where it was taken, and the date it was taken!  You'll thank me later!)

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post. Once again your 'inter-Nancy Drew' solved the case. Wonderful story. Happy Birthday Eric!!!