Culture Magazine

To Be a Kid Again: Luke and Chewie

By Flemmingbo
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Following up To Be a Kid Again I must post this. My favorite portrait of me. Ever. Luke Skywalker as a kid on our farm, with “Chewbacca”. Granted, I am far too young in this image to know about Star Wars, but still, I believe the force was strong with me even at this age. I mean, just look at that Skywalker haircut. Our awesome dog was actually not named Chewbacca, but Daisy. Daisy never left my side. We took long, long walks into the fields surrounding our farm. Scared of lightning and thunder, she would bite the doorhandles and manage to open every door in our house and find her way to my room and bed at night during storms. She was my best friend for years, until I was about 8 or 9 when Daisy became sick and had to go live at that farm where all old dogs must retire (that place is real right?). I think these are my favorite memories ever.

I presume my mother or father made this picture but I do not know, must ask. I do remember the camera, wish we still had it. It is interesting to study our many family photo albums. The early years, young Skywalker was captured in square black and white on what I remember as being an old medium format box camera. These images have a photographic quality the later images lack. At some point, a 35mm or 16mm automatic color compact camera enters and takes over as the tool of choice for my parents. This camera was no doubt a lot easier to use, but ease of use does not necessarily lead to better images. On the contrary. The slowness of the old box camera, the concentration needed to focus, do a composition, expose a frame, means you are forced to be much more careful, focused and concentrated and that potentially lends itself to better images. I am contemplating a somewhat Larry Towell inspired project at some point. We have some amazing family images in our photo albums, some more than 100 years old, glass plate stuff of our farm and my grandfather as a kid, amazing prints in these album from those plates, very detailed and gorgeous. More to come on this.

Walking in the fields with my dog as a kid. That is my happy place in my mind, my home, refuge when the shadows catch up and it is time to run again, when, like now, I am homesick for a home that no longer exists, when I have time-traveled too much alone for too many years on too many planets, when the world spins too fast, when I am lost in a great sea of darkness. Then I walk into the field. With Daisy. This is a special powerful photo.

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