When I was a teenager, I stashed random life-stuff in a heavy cardboard Budweiser box. By the time I graduated high school, my “junk box” was chockfull of photos, random papers, ticket stubs, notes, beer bottle caps (Zima!), keys, and other small objects. Essentially, it was two cubic feet of hoarded hodgepodgery that, for the most part, should be decomposing in a landfill somewhere.
For the past thirty years, the contents of the box have remained unchanged. This cardboard time capsule has moved cross-country, lived in closets, garages, basements, and generally, out of mind. Every couple years, something will come up in conversation or pop in my brain that leads to me rummaging through the box for some artifact. The last time that happened, I (re)discovered a couple rolls of undeveloped 110 film.
Overcome by curiosity, I decided to send the film to The Darkroom for development and digitization. After three decades of haphazard storage, I assumed the film would be trashed. The outcome was so much better than expected.
Born on a cheap camera and faded by the years, the grainy images I received blew my mind. They offered a rare snapshot into a handful of moments from my life at 15 or 16. In the before-times of the Smartphone Era of humanity, there is very little photographic evidence of me as a teenager, the images of me being a dorky kid with my friends triggered a massive hit of nostalgia.
Below are a few of the undoctored digitized photos. While there are photos of other friends, my high school girlfriend, and my parents, I decided it would be best to limit my show and tell to pics of me and my best friend. He and I still hang out as adult humans – although generally not with straws in my nose walrus-style.