One of the neatest things about my job as a picture framer is that I frame stories.  Each photo, print, painting, is of course a story in itself, but sometimes there’s more of the story than what’s just in the image.

I just finished putting together a piece that included a photo of my customers standing with the President and the First Lady, along with the invitation that I split and displayed in separate windows of the mat.  All well and good, normal frame job.  On the back I put the envelope of the invitation in a plastic sleeve affixed to the back of the piece.  "The White House" in gold letters on the return address.  It was torn open–telling of the excitement the recipients must have felt pulling this one out of the mail pile.  They didn’t expect me to save it, I’m sure, but I think they’ll be glad that I did.

It reminded me of another collage I put together once, of a WWII soldier who had died in service.  A photo, a couple medals, the telegram, and the envelope.  This time, I talked them into displaying the envelope along with the other items.  The envelope was raggy, practically torn in half; the telegram nicked by the frantic, scared woman who knew, yet needed to see it in text, that her son was dead.  That piece was exceptionally hard for me to put together without thinking about the story within it.

There are so many joys in my job, sometimes.  And sorrow as well.  A child’s "Aw, gee," when I make him sign his name, and his beaming face when he sees his crayoned masterpiece off the refrigerator newly framed for the den.  The reframing of wedding pictures with the groom exacto-knifed out.  A brick, a pizza box, an Olympic torch; I’ve framed them all.  Stories.

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2 Responses to WRITING: Story

  1. Loretta says:

    What a great job to have, Susan, though I think you bring to it what makes it special. Framing stories indeed. I’m going to look around my house for stories to frame (and then wait for the big framing sale at A.I Friedman’s!)

  2. susan says:

    The personal, meaningful stuff is the best, no question. Wish you lived closer–I’d give you the best deal!

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