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June, 2012

Captains of Industry Principal/CCO Ted Page: Steve Jobs, My Dad, and the Beauty of Simple Photography



By Ted Page, Captains of Industry

My dad worked at Polaroid for 25 years. When I was growing up, dad was forever taking pictures of me and by brothers, starting with the black and white kind that he peeled open to reveal the magic, to the SX-70 where the picture popped out the front and developed before our fascinated eyes. It was all about simplicity and sharing the moment. Yesterday, Father's Day, I visited dad at his nursing home in Melrose. Dad will be 92 in October, and unfortunately he has no memory. He's all in the moment, though, and can still enjoy things. So after I sang a few songs with him, I took out my iPhone and showed some pictures of where he used to live in Vermont,with views of Lake Willoughby at sunset. I held the iPhone in front of him, and flicked through the shots with my pointer finger. That's just what we do these days, right? But to my dad, who's forgotten how to do nearly all the basic things, like buttoning a shirt of using a fork, I figured Apple's little device would be somewhat confounding. And all of sudden I was wrong, and I was astonished, as dad's very old hand moved forward, and with a flick of his finger he advanced through the photos himself. I was shocked and surprised. I was delighted. My dad's eyes lit up as he went through the photos, and he grinned. It was all over in a moment, like an instant picture shared then put away in a pocket. But it proved for me, once again, the power of simplicity, the incredible beauty and elegance of it, and the enduring legacy of Steve Jobs. Click.


Photo caption: My dad, William R. Page, in his office at Polaroid circa 1977.

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