Double Double, Protein Style, Animal Style with a Strawberry Shake and Chips
Publisher: The Fulcrum Press
After his grandfather passed away, Wyatt Conlon spent the better part of a decade gathering and sorting photographs that chronicle his life. In “Double Double, Protein Style, Animal Style with a Strawberry Shake and Chips,” Conlon organizes his grandfather’s life into images that follow different timescales. Over the course of more than 900 pages, a clock moves forward from 4 a.m. (the time his grandfather always woke up) to 7 p.m. (the time he always went to bed), simultaneously signaling birth and death. Shortly before 7 a.m., the grandfather (then a young man) joins the U.S. military after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Born in Okinawa but raised in Hawaii, Conlon’s grandfather fought for America against Japan, while his wife (also of Japanese descent) was imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp. Somewhere between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., we see the grandfather fishing, spending time with his children, and having picnics in a park. We see a life unfold, with occasional minutes and half-hours lost to time, with no photographs to tell us what had happened, as the final hour inevitably draws closer with each new page. With “Double Double,” Conlon presents not only his own grief, but also a celebration of (a) life, and a story of the adversaries one may face in the pursuit of simple happiness.
“His grandson brought him lunch each week and then spent years and months and days and minutes constructing a life and a day and a book (and the index of a book and a day and a life) out of hamburgers and hummingbirds and love. The life and the day and the book are the same, full of crisp moments and imprecise memories and vast gaps, and they are distinct, full of vast moments and crisp memories and imprecise gaps. So how do you measure a life? Hamburgers and hummingbirds and love - let them seep into us, the future.”
― from Sara Knelman’s foreword