I love this picture of Mike and me. I’m pretty sure that Mom took it. Most of the pictures I have are slides, film negatives or those old snapshots with the rippled edges. This one was about 5X7 and glued flush onto card stock. With the old negatives, I used to print them myself and enhance them in my darkroom. This photo has the most fidelity when viewed in person. No computer scan can give more resolution that is present on this unique photograph.
It seems like Michael is having a thought here. I like to think that there was a connection at that moment. Connections did happen, but not very often. When it did, it was like a sidelong glance. I wish that I had the negative. If I did, maybe I could have squeezed out a little more resolution and discovered what was actually there.
This photo was probably taken before Mike went to Willowbrook, because he still had all his teeth. For those of you who have never heard of Willowbrook, it was a large state mental institution located in Staten Island, NY, which operated until the 1970s when it was shut down for wide-scale abuse. I’ll talk more about Willowbrook in future posts.
There are only a couple of photographs like the one above, and not many more moments of connection that I remember. My long-term photography project about my brother was an exploration of our relationship. I wanted to connect with Michael, if not in real life, in the frozen moment of a photograph.