Are You In This Picture?

Is this you? Do you know any of these people?

I found this undated photo in with some papers while I was in quarantine earlier this month. I have no idea who any of them are – except for me of course. (I’m the one with the beard.)

Nor do I remember where or when it was taken. It could have been the late seventies, maybe the early eighties, judging from the lack of grey hair. I think it is probably a church group, judging by the attire, but where? And why? A baby dedication maybe?

I don’t think it was Montreal – I would remember if I had visited friends there during that time period. I asked my wife, but she didn’t recognize anyone either, which likely means it was before we were married.

Which makes me wonder of it was taken in Saskatoon where I lived briefly before getting married, but still none of the faces look familiar. The room looks like a hotel meeting or dining room, but there isn’t enough detail to be sure.

So I’m left with a mystery. If you recognize yourself, let me know, and tell me how I know you. Do you remember the occasion for the photo?

Quarantine gives lots of opportunities for de-cluttering. Stuck inside for two weeks, I went through a lot of stuff. Many items triggered fond memories. This one came up blank.

The picture though has me thinking about the nature of friendship. Once I knew these people well enough that I gladly posed for a picture. We shared a meal together, or maybe it was just dessert – I can’t tell. Today I have no memory of any of them.

Some people come and go in your life. Not every relationship lasts forever. We don’t have the capacity (or the time) to keep up with everyone we meet. I understand that.

Do you know what a close friend is? It is someone you can call on at 3 a.m. and they will be there for you, no questions asked. No matter what you need, if they can provide it, it is yours.

Those friends are few and far between, and I am privileged to have several. Those are the sort of people you never forget and who never forget you.

Given that I don’t remember any names from this picture, I guess these weren’t close friends. If it was taken in Saskatoon, that is understandable – I only lived there six months and it takes longer than that, usually, for friendships to deepen.

Still, we were close enough that I was there, an was given a copy of the picture (something that didn’t always happen in the pre-digital photography era). And I kept it. It must have meant something to me. But I can’t remember.

Can anyone solve this mystery for me?


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