Vintage Jack Hyland

Take a long, careful, look at this picture of Jack and Nell Hyland, my wife’s parents. You see what I see?

In the fall of 1963 Jack and Nell drove from Charlotte to Chapel Hill, N.C., for their first overnight visit with their newly-wed daughter and her husband.

Jack and Nell Hyland
Jack and Nell Hyland

We grilled on the patio at our apartment on Airport Road and Donna, my wife, took pictures — doesn’t she always?   This picture of that happy occasion puzzled me for years.  Why did Jack look like the picture of health while Nell looked like, well, a corpse.

Back then the color on colored photographs was quirky, which could explain why Nell’s face looked washed out.  But his face wasn’t washed out.  He looked just fine.

How could that be?

It was a long time before I noticed Jack’s hand.  It looked just like Nell’s face, washed out.   This is so Jack Hyland.  He loved to play jokes. He had been holding his breath, forcing blood to his face, making himself look healthy — and his wife look dead.

Coming Monday: “You’re Fired!”