Sunday, October 18, 2009

Square America

Cake Love from Square America

Chicago, Illinois. View from Hancock Tower from Square America

Square America is a site with the transformative power of time travel. Displaying thousands of vintage snapshots dating back as far as the early part of the 20th Century, one can spend hours perusing the captured moments of exuberant, somber, silly, serious, black and white and saturated color lives we might have known. Who hasn't made faces in a photo booth or posed with a perfectly groomed date, or kid brother or a completed Thanksgiving dinner, or that rascal dog that was as smart as any human?

I especially enjoy the candid shots; what may be lacking in composition and lighting, is more than made up for in energy and sincerity. I could smell the cigar of that plump relative, hear the fifties music emanating from that walnut RCA cabinet, and taste that faded summer picnic. Clearly, an enormous amount of passion and an exhaustive effort fueled the completion of the site.

James Agee wrote, "How far we all come. How far we all come away from ourselves. You can never go home again." Perhaps, but we can at least visit, and remember.

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