My wife’s grandmother Virginia was over 90 years old when she pulled a yellowed envelope containing four film negatives out of one of her many photo albums. Like we’d done many times before, she was sharing the memories of her adventurous life captured in those albums, and I was always enthralled with the places she’d been and the people she’d met, but the writing on the envelope: “Slocum 1906,” gave me goose bumps.
“Oh my God,” I said as I held one of the negatives to the light. “These are photos of Joshua Slocum and Spray.” In my excitement I foolishly asked, “Did you meet Joshua Slocum when you were a kid?!”
“No,” she said, “I don’t think so (she hadn’t been born yet). But my father probably would have gone down to the pier to see what was going on.”