Change Is a Funny Thing

Nuts and Bolts, Toronto, 1980, Avard Woolaver

Nuts and Bolts, Toronto, 1980                                               © Avard Woolaver

Change is a funny thing; you can’t know what will matter to you in the years to come. When I look back at photos I took in previous decades, I find so many elements, sometimes just small features of the background, that strike me now in ways they couldn’t have when I took the photo.

For example, I spent years roaming around Toronto, taking street photos. Many of these show stores and businesses that have long since vanished; others have become iconic. Buildings have been taken down, and others put up in their place. Gas in the 1980s, I’m reminded, cost 45 cents a litre. Fashion was so different; cars were huge. Nuts and Bolts, seen in the photo, was a famous alternative dance club in the 1980s. It was closed in 1988.

Moreover, as you age, your priorities shift so much (or at least mine have). Family photos that never used to seem special or remarkable in any way may turn out to have my only shot of a certain cousin or aunt. Places I’d forgotten about are suddenly in front of me again.

My experience has been that it’s difficult or impossible to predict these outcomes. I don’t know what I’ll see when I look back at pictures I haven’t studied in a long time. All I know is that there are certain to be surprises.

Nuts and Bolts, Toronto, 1980 is from the series: Toronto Days

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