External Photo Clues:
Harry stepped forward, then back, to the right and then to the left. He wanted to frame the photo just right. “This is the first day of the rest of your life!” he said to Debbie.
Ann and Harry had been married for almost 2 years when Debbie was born. Harry doted on Debbie. He named her after his mother. Debbie came early and was sickly. Harry took his job as her father, her protector seriously. Ann didn’t know what to do, but she did her best to take care of her.
Debbie was allergic to almost everything it seemed. She couldn’t go out in the spring or the fall lest she end up in the hospital. Her father wouldn’t let her go out in the cold, she was too fragile. No vacations away from her, no vacations with her either. Ann was shocked when Harry came home and told her the news. They were moving to Arizona.
Ann hadn’t ever been out of her hometown except for the trip on their honeymoon to the next town over. She didn’t know what it was like in Arizona and she wasn’t excited about finding out. She was leaving everything she knew. Her family, friends, life 1000 miles in the rearview mirror and she knew she would never return. Ann tried to protest but it wasn’t up for discussion. Harry had heard that Debbie might be healthier if she lived in the desert, where it was dry. He had already lined up a job and given notice to their landlord, decision made.
Ann spent her life doing what she thought she was supposed to. She quit school when her mom got sick, she got married to the man her father wanted her to, she had a child when her friends decided it was time, and now she was moving to Arizona. She got out of the car when Harry pulled to the side of the road and posed by the cactus with Debbie, but she refused to smile when the picture was taken. This was the first picture taken of Debbie where she was smiling and the only picture of Ann when she wasn’t.
About The Author:
Joey Rodman was born and raised in Oklahoma and currently resides in Oklahoma City. She has been married to the love of her life since 2000 and has two daughters who are adorably precocious and named them after characters from Star Trek. Joey has many interests including, writing, photography, baseball, science fiction, music, history and reading.
About The Imaginary Family Project:
The 2011 Imaginary Family Project is a year-long collective art endeavor coordinated by occasional amateur artist Quentin Bomgardner and co-sponsored by The Red Dirt Chronicles. This project is based around “lost” vintage photographs, which have been acquired at flea markets, garage sales, estate sales, and eBay – heirloom collections, with no heir. Every week a different author will “find” one photograph by creating an imagined history around one of its subjects. At the end of the year, the collection will be compiled and presented as a group.