Monday, May 14, 2018
Some Stories, We'll Never Know
It was graduation weekend around my home this past weekend. We made the mistake of driving down the road past the main entrance to my alma mater, just when all the newest graduates and their families were driving away from the campus celebrations. The resulting traffic reminded me of the festive occasion we had participated in, only a few years previous, when our own daughter graduated from that same university.
Most graduates are rightly proud of their accomplishments, including in their commemoration of that event their graduation photographs. This is evidently a time-honored tradition, judging from the photograph I found last winter among those forsaken specimens I located in a northern California antique shop. Just as graduates-to-be enclose their cap-and-gown photos in invitations to their ceremony this year, students have been doing the same for generations, apparently.
Something inside me keeps hoping some insignia on the cap and gown of the woman in this old photograph will provide at least a clue as to which educational institution she had once attended. I guess I just hate to see old photographs not claimed by family. But in the case of graduation pictures, they could—just like those of this year's graduates—have been distributed far and wide by proud parents and their family members. Whoever this mystery person was, she likely attended school—or perhaps taught in one—in or near Washington, D.C., for the photo's imprint reveals that it was taken at the National Portrait Studio at 1107 F Street NW in that city.