by Skip Cohen
The fun of Throwback Thursday is mainly in the hunt for old photographs, but it's also how they renew old friendships and keep great memories alive. Today's post is definitely a moment-that-mattered story, but a phone call triggered it, and then I went hunting for a photograph!
Meet my "little brother," Michael LeBlanc. Although, in all honesty, while I think we're about the same age, I have no idea at this time who's older. We met at Polaroid years before this picture was taken. We were both in Consumer Services and focused on helping maintain Polaroid's cutting-edge support for its customers.
The photograph was taken 35 years ago this week at my going-away party when I left Polaroid to join Hasselblad. I was with the company for 17 1/2 years, and the party they threw for me was itself a "moment that mattered."
My Polaroid background came up in a conversation last week with a photographer asking about Platypod products. That got me thinking about old friends from those days, and I still had Michael's cell phone number from ten years ago. An hour of laughs and walking down Memory Lane later, the friendship was back, alive and well - almost as if we left off with a comma when we last spoke. So I went looking through a box of old Polaroid prints until I found this one.
A year or so early, I don't remember why, but we were having a drink together in the bar at the Hyatt in Cambridge. The bartender mixed up our drinks, giving him my martini and me his bourbon. When the bartender apologized, he said, "Sorry guys, you look so much alike!" We then explained that we had the same mother but different fathers and were actually brothers. Finally, after half an hour of both of us keeping a straight face, the bartender bought it.
About eight years later, I was in Cambridge and went to Mike's office at Polaroid unannounced. He was in a meeting, and I asked his secretary to interrupt, and please tell him his brother was here. She refused and wouldn't accept I was really his brother.
I went around her, opened his door, and said, "Hey, little brother!" His response was something like, "Mom's upset you haven't talked to her this week." Well, his secretary hit the panic button. She was so apologetic about not believing me. To this day, I have no idea if Mike ever told her the truth.
And that brings me right to my point this Throwback Thursday. Nothing beats old friendships, and the power of imaging makes them that much better. Photographs are like great seasoning and the way it enhances the flavor of a good steak. Those old photographs turn memories into tangible moments from our past and make life richer!
Throwback Thursday is an outstanding marketing tool to remind your clients that it's time for a new family portrait. But it's also the perfect vehicle to help you remember why you got into this business in the first place. For me, every old photograph and the stories that go with each one recharge my battery. They simply make me smile.
What a kick to love this industry like I do!
And to my little brother - looking forward to catching up LIVE later this year!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.