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In 1956 my grandfather gave me my first camera. It was my fifth birthday, and life has never been the same. Immediately I set to photographing my world, especially my family. My sister Pammy had to endure me the most.

Although she may remember things a bit differently, I was not a bully. I was just a big brother. Yes, I did break her arm about three years after I took this particular picture, but I didn’t mean to. Really, I just wanted to watch “The Honeymooners,” not “Casper.”

Back to this picture. It was 1958, Eisenhower was in the White House, and we were playing with our neighbors Michael and Suzy in their backyard. I was photographing them, which was (and is) how I related to the world, and Mikey did something to my sister. You can tell just by looking at him. And my sister was a crybaby. I mean really, it was like her hobby.

Perhaps as a result of my always annoying my sister with my camera, she fell in love with photography, too. She is now a photography gallery director. Had I known how things would turn out, I would have treated her better.

image by
Rich Frishman

Published as part of the “Early Works Project”,
curated by Laura Moya & Laura Valenti Jelen.