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Thoughts that seep from the Spitzer family photos

March 13, 2008 | 12:22 am

Anyone who's gone through a family death or divorce has, later, come upon some old photos that strike an entirely different emotional chord in the aftermath than they did in the split-second captured on paper. Knowing about ensuing events makes you think of other things, like the inevitable passing of time, maybe lost innocence, things regrettably said or not said.

That's the pathos we felt going slowly through this website's new photo gallery on the Eliot Spitzer mess. We never met Spitzer or his wife. He was to us just another distant political character who knew very well how to play the New York media's blind needs and drives.

All the caveats are, of course, true. Nobody made Spitzer seek public office. Nobody made him seek and get such publicity and delight in skewering wrongdoers for his own political gain. And nobody forced him to wander off the path of marital fidelity and allegedly violate federal laws.

Frankly, what struck us in this site's photo gallery was not the main character with that striking jaw, who was forced to resign as New York's governor Wednesday. What struck us was the face of his wife, Silda, who seems to age dramatically from the happiness in the early photo of election night to the forced straight face of photo No. 1 at The End.

No offense to the web editors, but we suggest you view them in reverse order, starting with No. 8, the one that hit us the most with the father we know so much more about today and their three innocent daughters, who didn't have a clue when the photo was taken at that party and now must know more than they ever wanted.

Makes you think a little, even during a torrid presidential campaign that continues. What those photos make you think about is up to you. But if you care to share some of those thoughts or roam through those of others, the Comments section is open below.

--Andrew Malcolm