Karen Elizabeth Baker

Family Vacation

I made a sock monkey for a friend who was having a baby. I, never having had one, was always jealous of the kids in my neighborhood who did. I sent the monkey off to my friend’s baby and still felt a little loss. I promptly made another and named him The Baby. I tossed him into my car while loading it for a trip from Los Angeles to Boise, Idaho. The journey recalled a bit of nostalgia for the quintesential road trip taken by a generation of kids who grew up in America in the 1950s and 1960s. I realized that the vacation snapshots I took with The Baby were not portraits of him, rather they were social landscapes that he happened to inhabit. The images capture the social and cultural ideas of our time; the intersection of history, culture, and politics. They revealed a slowing down of time as I moved eastward. The images illustrate how ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’.

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