magazine editor Jason Bitner has made it a habit of picking up after us, walking down the back alleys of our lives, and accumulating all that we've thrown away or mislaid. One afternoon not long ago, after lunch at a small Midwestern diner, he stumbled onto a forgotten archive. In the back of the restaurant were box upon box of studio portraits of the townspeople of LaPorte, Indianaover 18,000 in total.
Taken over four decades, the photos marked important milestonesa sailor in uniform, a graduate in cap and gown, a couple newly engagedwhile others simply made modest attempts at posterity. Each in their unique way reveals both a public and private face, a story untold, a secret to reveal. They are admittedly brief moments and ones in which people have purposefully posed for the camera. Smiling. Caring. Loving. Pensive. Serious. These are pictures of all of us in a way, reﬂections in a mirror of the everyday moments and events that deﬁne all of our lives. LaPorte, Indiana is a major cultural excavation and an opening into these lives, into this town, and into the heart of our nation.
"These are real people. The grace and dignity one sees in their faces should be a source of hope for us all."