Awhile ago I discovered an old slide taken at a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game years earlier. I didn’t remember much about it.
I knew I’d taken it in May 1978—a memorable time in my life. I was on my way to Germany for a university student work program. It was my first trip on an airplane, and my first time in Toronto.
I also recalled that the Montreal Canadiens had defeated the Boston Bruins on that day to win the Stanley Cup. From this fact, I figured out online that the game had been May 25, 1978—a Thursday. A baseball reference website told me all the details. The player at bat was Tom Hutton (#14) and the player on deck was Otto Velez (#19). The Boston Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5, with relief pitcher Dennis Eckersley getting the win. The game was held at the old Exhibition Stadium, a venue that was also the field for the Toronto Argonauts football team. The attendance at the game was 17, 197 for the fledgling Jays, who were struggling through their second season.
I’ve found Google Maps Streetview to be another valuable resource for finding the exact location of old photos. There is a sense of satisfaction in piecing together old memories. It helps me remember more details of a photo, or an event. How did I get to the game, who did I go with, what did I do afterwards?
It’s impossible to go back in time, but often it is possible to reconstruct the details of a photo. This can be a worthwhile endeavor as the past recedes further in the distance. Not every day will be one you’ll care to return to in memory; not every ball game is one you would want to sit through again. There are plenty of elements of our past lives that are better left in the past. But, for those memories that are a pleasure to recall, using photo sleuthing to retrieve forgotten bits of the day can add greatly to the texture of a treasured memory.