Sunday, April 01, 2007

The death of Life

I know I'm not the only one who adores vintage issues of LIFE Magazine.

When I was in college, supposedly studying in the bottom stacks of the library, I would always grab a carrel near the bound volumes of LIFE and spend hours upon procrastinating hours paging through the decades.

They were a fascinating glimpse into my parents', and my country's past -- sure, edited carefully to show mostly white people of a certain class and social standing, but still an interesting glimpse into personal lives, the kind of stuff you didn't read about in History 101.

After college, I even splurged and bought a few bound volumes of the old mags for myself, kind of bringing a bit of the St. Thomas college library stacks into my own home, where I could flip through them any time I wanted. (Of course, I can't remember the last time I actually looked at them.)

LIFE has died many times, and I wasn't even clearly aware that it was back, as a Parade Mag kind of Sunday-paper supplement, but I did still feel a little pang to see that it's now died one more time. I may be digging those bound volumes out of the basement for a little reminscing some time soon.


Anonymous said...

Oh my God, Life magazine was the bane of my existence during my high-school job working in the reference section of my local library. A big part of my job was to retrieve bound volumes of magazines from the back room in response to patrons' requests, and then to reshelve them afterwards. One time, somebody wanted to read through several years' worth of Life from the 1950s. Weekly magazine ... oversize volumes ... several years ... it took me about four carts' worth to get them all out, and then I had to reshelve them again at the end of the day. Argh.

Anonymous said...

The Game of Life (... the gaaaame... of liiiife...!

When you learn about life then you play The Game of Life!