Todd Heisler found boxes of aluminum cases in her mother’s basement containing Kodachrome slides which his father, Gordon Heisler took back in the 1960’s. 50 years after the photos were taken, Todd Heisler learns more about his family through his father’s photos.
Todd Heisler is a photojournalist but has never tried shooting in Kodachrome. His father, Gordon Heisler, was not a professional photographer but rather, a hobbyist. Todd remembers his father taking candid pictures of his brother and mother whenever he could. Most of the pictures taken had elements of surprise that showed cherished moments with the family. These stories told by his father are forever embedded in film.
Though some of the photos were damaged by flood, most of them still had vibrant colors that bring Todd back to the lives they lived many years ago. Todd remembers smiles of family members, the smell of stew and squirrels that would play in their backyard. Apart from old memories, he also got a taste of what life was like before he was born. Pictures of parties thrown by his parents in their early 20’s, his mother’s engagement ring and his father’s 1958 Chevrolet Impala give him a sense of reality. Before, he only heard about these stories, but now he could see pictures to go with them.
Gordon Heisler was battling cancer when Todd had received an award of excellency for one of the photo-essays that he made. While getting the news from his son, Gordon was in excruciating pain and could not clearly express himself due to the pain treatments he was under. He died a day after receiving the news of his son’s achievement.
It is only through these Kodachrome pictures that Todd hears his father’s voice and the story that he wants to tell, may it be deliberate or accidental.
For more articles on Kodachrome, read Kodachrome: The Legend Concludes and Tribute to Our Fathers: My Dad, the Kodachrome Man