It was now around Easter time in the spring of 1992, and my wife’s grandmother (center wearing a yellow sweater) had a birthday celebration that we all attended – and this is a portion of the family gathered at her house for her birthday in Schweich.
David and his uncle take a walk in Schweich, Germany – which is on the Mosel River near Trier – and when everyone was ready we all headed out to the restaurant for the birthday dinner celebration.
As usual, I must have said something funny in my broken German as I stood up to take this photo of the family – but whatever I did or said – it made everyone smile and resulted in a nice picture.
I’ve always liked the symmetry of a nicely set table, and this one was no different – as David talks with his uncle down at the far end of the table.
I liked the square corners and lines, set here on the diagonal, in the tablecloth from the creased and ironed folds; along with the silverware and napkins nicely folded and all lined up – with lit candles and the contrast of the dark images against the bright windows.
Here’s another view of the dinner table with David and his grandmother sitting at the other end; and with everyone relaxing back in their chairs, I was able to crop the photo down to mainly focus here on the table decorations.
My father-in-law was the smartest and most well rounded person I’ve ever met, who could discuss any subject intelligently with an amazing depth of knowledge – from history to politics, antique cars to psychology, photography to religion – he knew something about everything.
My wife’s aunt is the most gracious woman I’ve ever known, who always made me feel welcome with my broken German – and who made everyone in the room feel like she was only there for them – the perfect hostess and a wonderfully charitable and kind hearted person.
My wife’s great-uncle and great-aunt at the table in the restaurant; and she was in particular truly remarkable – for both her health and vigor were amazing in how she was always active and interested in life around her.
As a parent, there are certain moments when a picture offers a glimpse into your child’s future – and this entire series of photos of David revealed a “grown-up” look about him.
David was growing up quickly into a fine young man, and the tie only enhanced that image as he sips on a lemonade here; and as an only child he spent most of his time outside of school mainly with adults.
David’s uncle and aunt relax for a moment – with an opportunity to enjoy some quiet time before dinner is served – at my wife’s grandmother’s birthday celebration in Schweich, Germany.
David’s uncle always enjoyed being with David, and he passed along his excellent technical knowledge and understanding to David at every opportunity he could.
My wife’s grandmother – or “Oma” in German – finished here with her dinner and in a very festive birthday mood; while celebrating her birthday with the family gathered around her.
I’m relaxed here and enjoying the occasion as well – taking in the festivities and pausing for a moment – to allow my photo to be taken instead of always being the photographer.
I always try to take as many individual photos as possible – hopefully from a casual and almost unnoticed vantage point as with this photo of my wife’s cousin – that I cropped from a larger photo; and decided to use it here despite the fact it’s not in sharp focus.
David’s aunt spends time with him, helping to refresh his German language skills – as he was now speaking British English at Temple Close Nursery School in Bloxham, England.
I can see from David’s emerging grin, that there is a funny or silly comment about to be said as his aunt talks with him; he shares an excellent sense of humor with his mom, which is a very strong bond between them.
These “bugs” on the table are actually wrapped chocolates, which are also good for a child to play with for a few minutes before meeting their inevitable chewy end.
David enjoys a moment of fun with the chocolate “bugs,” as his aunt spends time with him at the birthday party – and the evening was very much enjoyed and appreciated by everyone gathered there.
A quiet moment of reflection for David, while playing with his clip-on tie which disconects it from his collar; looking back it was clear that although David handled all the moves and language changes very well while growing up – he still had a lot on his plate for a young man.
Getting up from the table David demonstrates just how full he was from the excellent meal that he enjoyed at the restaurant.
Even a young man gets tired after awhile, and here David stands beside his uncle – and shows the effects of a long and fun filled day.
Proud of his tie and “grown up” appearance, David adjusts his tie just a bit and shows off his “well dressed” look for the camera.
This is one of the best photographs from the entire roll of film – showing David at his best in that moment – something that every photographer hopes for with each and every picture they take.