Pin It
Favorite

Lost Memories 

Decades later, maybe someone will recognize the faces

click to enlarge art18942.jpg

There’s no way to know how the box was lost, but it was found weatherworn and waterlogged in an abandoned showerhouse. It was 1992, and Rich Davisson was cleaning out the old Piney Wood RV Park in Post Falls after buying the place. Inside the box he saw a family history in photographs — a wedding, a Christmas morning, a child’s birthday party, a baby’s bath in the kitchen sink. Some of the photographs were damaged by water, but dozens were miraculously preserved.

“I can’t throw these away,” he thought. “This is somebody’s family.”

So, for the past 20 years, the box of photographs has been in Davisson’s basement. He’s moved it a few times, and each time he looks at the box and wonders whether it’s time to just get rid of it, and each time he can’t bring himself to do it.

click to enlarge _resized_240x270_lostphotos4silo.jpg
click to enlarge _resized_330x225_lostphotos5silo.jpg

All that time, he has never sifted through all the contents. “I felt like I was kind of snooping through the stuff, even looking through it,” he says.

There are posed school photos, a framed portrait and stacks of candid Polaroids. Those same Polaroids are being casually held by anonymous hands in some of the other shots, frozen at the gray moment before they first developed into existence.

click to enlarge _resized_330x229_lostphotos6silo.jpg
click to enlarge _resized_240x286_lostphotos7silo.jpg

And there are clues: references to Manitoba on some accompanying papers, a newspaper clipping of baby contest winners, handwritten dates from 1976 and 1977, names written by the same hand — Art, Alice, Paula, Melvin, Rodney and Danielle, so many of the baby Danielle — and a last name that comes up again and again, Coutu.

In some ways the world has gotten smaller since 1992, or 1977, and Davisson recently posted some of the photographs on Craigslist.

“I thought, if that was my family, it would be pretty cool to get them back after all those years,” he says.

He hopes that now, maybe 35 years after the box was lost, someone will still recognize that smiling baby, or that sunny afternoon on the beach, and come to claim the memories. 

click to enlarge _resized_240x295_lostphotos9silo.jpg
click to enlarge _resized_330x235_lostphotos1silo.jpg
click to enlarge _resized_240x292_lostphotos11silo.jpg
click to enlarge _resized_240x293_lostphotos10silo.jpg
click to enlarge _resized_200x281_lostphotos3silo.jpg
click to enlarge _resized_240x283_lostphotos8silo.jpg



  • Pin It

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • A Sort of Homecoming
  • A Sort of Homecoming

    Julia Keefe's path to this year's Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival headlining stage started as a Spokane middle-schooler
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • THE 2017 OSCARS
  • THE 2017 OSCARS

    Your personal ballot for this year's Academy Awards
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • Paving the Way
  • Paving the Way

    Women weren't admitted at Gonzaga until 1948; a new on-campus exhibit shows how they shaped its culture for modern times
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • A Drinking Memoir
  • A Drinking Memoir

    Distilled: Love and loss, over a lifetime
    • Jan 14, 2016
  • Remnants of the Palouse
  • Remnants of the Palouse

    A new field guide celebrates once-abundant grasses and wildflowers
    • Apr 21, 2016
  • Native Passion
  • Native Passion

    Jacob Johns is an artist and activist who does a little of everything
    • Nov 3, 2016

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

 

Comments are closed.

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
SATURATE: Reservation X

SATURATE: Reservation X @ Richmond Gallery

Through Feb. 28

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Most Commented On

  • Partisan Pagans

    The political divide is even splintering Spokane's witches
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Finding the Words

    The sounds of 8,000 people taking to the streets of Spokane
    • Jan 26, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Blind Faith
  • Blind Faith

    In a vacant lot by the railroad tracks, an unlikely friendship is found
    • Jan 7, 2016
  • Last Woman Standing
  • Last Woman Standing

    Local comics and nationally known performers like Amy Schumer are rebranding "female comedy"
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • Pleasant Surprise
  • Pleasant Surprise

    Marsells is proving itself to be the little bakery that could
    • Aug 5, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation