Some pictures that I’m happy to have

Everybody doesn’t take great pictures all the time.

I have plenty of proof of that, whether it’s pictures of myself or pictures of people in my family, including my dad.

I came across one really not-so-good one the other day, one of those church directory shots where my parents are both seated, dad elevated behind mom. He’s wearing a tweed suit and a scowl.

If there were a thought bubble in plain view over his head, as in a newspaper cartoon strip, it might read, “I hate this” or “I’d rather be mowing” or “how much is this going to cost me.”

It doesn’t look like my dad at all, but more like a guy who had to have his evening interrupted to get dressed up and get his picture taken under protest.

But other photos more than make up for that one.

One I like is the head and shoulder shot professionally taken when, in addition to working on the railroad, he was a car salesman on the side back in the early days of Biggio Ford on Brady Avenue in Steubenville.

He was a good looking guy, that dad of mine.

There was an ad that showcased all the salesmen, including him in this photo, a promotion for a grand opening in celebration of a remodeling. The full-page clipping that I have ironically ran in the Herald-Star, the place that would come to be my home away from home.

Dad’s wearing a suit in that one, too, but it’s a more relaxed pose, a shot of a dapper guy comfortable in his skin.

You can’t go wrong with photos that show people in their element. I think you call them “environmental portraits.”

An especially good one is dad on Memorial Day, marching down Main Street, Richmond, as commander of the Richmond American Legion Post 740 Honored Seven. He’s in his Legion outfit, looking at the camera, giving a proud wave.

Then there’s the one of him on the tractor when my son Adam was just little and not all that enamored by the idea of being in a picture with Pap-Pap on a tractor.

But it’s still a good picture.

So is the one from the time we went fishing at the home of one of his friends who had a little pond near his house, a pond with just enough bluegill in it to satisfy some young grandchildren who wanted to experience what that was all about.

The unposed photo shows dad chuckling to himself as he observes their progress – or lack thereof. He’s relaxing in the grass. Content. Wearing his straw hat.

He has that hat on again in a photo taken on our back porch, a shot of him and mom, not posed or elevated or dressed up.

They’re side by side.


In the company of grandchildren.

If you could see the thought bubble above my head this morning as you read this column, it would be “Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you.”

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and features writer with the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at