But there's something else about Facebook, which is that people I haven't seen in twenty or even thirty years will sometimes post old pictures they've scanned, pictures of me I've never seen. Then somebody I currently know who is in more recent or regular contact with the nostalgic picture-poster will tag me and there is my past, popping out at me. I do like this, although there is something borderline creepy about this I can't quite put my finger on.
Within days of my joining Facebook somebody I haven't seen since about 1985 posted some pictures of me in 1985, taken at the Indian Neck Folk Festival. My goodness but my beard was black.
In these pictures I'm leading a shapenote singing. Outside, which I would never do these days. Even stranger, I'm using a pitchpipe. I have no excuse, except that this is how I learned the tradition and being the regular pitchpiper for Norumbega Harmony taught me to give pitches quickly after a song was called and I think this is also what taught me where notes actually are in the free air, a skill that I use when I key songs these days. So what I have to say in my defense against my current supercilious self is that the pitchpipe was my training wheels.
The other day, even more suprisingly, somebody I haven't seen since probably 1975 or so put up a picture from 1974 that I'm pretty sure was taken at the Fox Hollow Folk Festival. I am 17 years old in this picture, between high school and college. That was the only time in my life I let my beard grow untrimmed. I remember at the time being somewhat baffled that people often took me for older than I was -- I was never carded for drinks, for example -- but now I can see why. My brother Matthew must have been the one who tagged me in this picture -- he's the mopheaded fellow in the middle. He commented that this is when I was studying to be a rabbi. That's me with a pony tail on the far right.
These feel like wafts of breeze from long long ago.