This is my downstairs bathroom wall. Every day I look at these people, imagining their lives, their thoughts at the moment of the photographer's click. Ironically, while I have several other pictures of ancestors on the walls in there, these two aren't even related to me.
The man came with the beautifully carved tramp art frame, all the way from Australia. I have named him Henry. I picture him as a man with a successful business, possibly an enterprise involving the making of fine woolens, or somesuch.
Penelope, there in front of the hotel, is having a much-deserved holiday. Her life isn't clear to me, but she does have a beau. They are very much in love, but there are some issues that need to be resolved in order for her family to be accepting of the match. This clandestine rendezvous is by far the most daring thing she has ever done.
I wonder who they really were. I can't help but wonder what they would have thought to know that they'd be images for a stranger's imagination. At the very instant the shutter clicked, the world I inhabit would have been unimaginable to either of them.
Their presence pleases me. In my own way, I honor them. It's not crazy, is it?