Gretchen Kelly (left), Annie Reneau (right)

When I was a kid, we had an entire living room shelf full of photo albums to pore through when we wanted to relive family memories. Now, several decades later, we flip through digital albums, instead. But the feelings that family photographs invoke are still the same. Every photo tells a story, and some photos hold tales and truths that are particularly dear to our hearts.

I was visiting with my friend Paula recently when she pulled up a sweet old photo of our sons together.

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Cecilia Bembibre and Matija Strlič remember how it smells to enter the library of Dean and Chapter.

The library is nestled above the main floor of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, tucked away behind the southwest tower. Coming through the long stone corridors of the cathedral, a visitor is met with a tall wooden door, usually kept closed. The outside world might be full of the smell of fumes from central London’s busy roads or the incense that wafts through the church, but once you open that door, a different smell envelops you. It’s woody, musty, and a little bit familiar.

“It is a combination of paper, leather, wood ... and time,” said the pair.

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Chris Porsz was tired of studying sociology.

As a university student in the 1970s, he found the talk of economics and statistics completely mind-numbing. So instead, he says, he roamed the streets of his hometown of Peterborough, England, with a camera in hand, snapping pictures of the people he met and listening to their stories. To him, it was a far better way to understand the world.

He always looked for the most eccentric people he could find, anyone who stood out from the crowd. Sometimes he'd snap a single picture of that person and walk away. Other times he'd have lengthy conversations with these strangers.

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Here is what I remember: most of it. The day itself, I mean. The interruption of class, the announcement by the fumbling English teacher, the crowding at the window, the black cloud already invading the skyline.

I remember the snarky, oblivious comments — my own, especially. The teachers herded everyone to the school rooftop to sort us into homerooms and take count of where everyone was.

I remember the first few parents arriving, to our surprise, followed by the announcement that students would not be released from school until a parent — anybody’s parent — signed them out. And then my own parents arrived in a flurry, scooping up as many of the downtown kids as they could find, sweeping us all out to the street, seeing a man with the radio walkie-talkie on his shoulder as if we were in another decade. I remember my father’s van becoming a caravan for other people’s children, the way we dropped them off one by one to grateful parents, how sad I was to watch them leave.

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