Digital immortality

Some people in India are about to get very familiar with my life – all 60 boxes of it. Right now, as we speak, the early years are on their way: My baby brother and me in front of our 1950s fireplace, holding the ornaments my mother had determined would make a cute Christmas card. Our grandmother, standing with us in front of the trailer she was so proud of in Florida. My father on his tractor, plowing the driveway. Parents’ Weekend at Camp Fernwood.

I don’t remember my parents ever taking slides; I don’t remember where these random 50 slides I seem to have inherited came from, but now they’re on their way, along with some of Chip’s from before we met, and the first picture ever taken of us, and our early college dates.

It’s a lot of work, digitizing a life. The first thing you have to do is go buy 25 Glad Wrap boxes, and hope no one at the store asks you what you’re going to do with all that Glad Wrap (answer: I have no idea; if you need any let me know). Then you have to take all the slides, one by one, out of the plastic Kodak Carousel homes they’ve lived in all these years and stack them in those Glad Wrap boxes, where they just very neatly fit. And then you send them to India, where they’re scanned and sent back to you.

It’s very satisfying, boxing up a life.

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