An Historical Holograph

by Steven C. Levi


“They’re all the rage, Dear. I got the last one at the bookstore!” George Anderson handed his wife the history book with his left hand as he set the two bags of groceries down on the kitchen table. Before Shelia could open the book, their son Oliver grabbed it and dashed off into the solarium.

Shelia laughed. “At least he’s interested in history. He could be siting down and watching holovision.”

George handed his wife the fresh vegetables which she popped into the Kelvin Freezer, designed to keep “vegies fresh ’til you-know-where freezes over,” as the holovision commercial claimed.

“It’s amazing what they can do these days. They take thousands of historical pictures and run them through a holographing process. Then, using different parts from different photos, they come up with a composite that is as clear as bottled water. No more historic photos where half the picture is out of focus or all the faces are fuzzy!”

“But the holographic photos aren’t really real, I mean, none of them are a picture of anything that ever was.”

“That’s right.” George handed Shelia a case of Mars dry soup mix. “But being truthful is not the point. Giving an accurate picture of a generic scene is. It’s a new process. Not supposed to be dangerous as long as you don’t stare into the holographs for too long.”

“A dangerous picture, hand me the chicken legs, that’s rich. But I’ve got a question.”

“Yes, Dear?”

“If you combine a photograph that was taken in Arizona in 1878 with one that was shot in Wyoming in 1920 with a third that was snapped in California during the Gold Rush, are you really showing history?”

“Yes and No. What you are doing is planting the seed of interest in a child’s mind, so that he or she can go back and read the books about what really happened.”

“Hey, Dad!” Oliver’s excited voice from the solarium interrupted Shelia’s response. “There’s a picture in here of three guys on horses and one of them looks just like me!”

“That may very well have been one of your relatives,” George yelled into the other room. “We had kin that lived back in those days,” George looked at his wife and smiled. “Could be a relative of mine or your mother’s.”

“Wow! Dad...”

“Yeah, Son. Like the book? Here, Dear. You finish with the groceries. I want to make sure our son really likes history.”

Shelia laughed as George went into the other room.

“Hon,” she heard him saw from the solarium. “That picture your son was talking about. It’s got four horsemen and one of them does look like Oliver!”

“Really?”

“Yeah! I’ll be damned. One of them looks like me too!”

“Watch your language, George. I’ll be right there.” Shelia put a can of California olives on the shelf next to the Neptune potatoes.

“Wow! Dear...”

Shelia walked into the living room and, much to her surprise, George and Oliver weren’t there. “They must be in the bedroom,” she said smiling and shaking her head. Looking down at the book on the table she saw a double-page holograph of five horsemen.

Sure enough, she mused, one of them did indeed look like Oliver. And the man on the next horse was the spitting image of George and, as she looked harder, there was a woman next to the holographed George whose face was a snapshot of hers.


Copyright © 2006 by Steven C. Levi

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