When Addison Logan, 13, opened an old Polaroid camera he bought at a garage… (Matt Pearce, For The Times )
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cameras can't bring back the dead — or can they?
Addison Logan, 13, had broken his arm in a motocross accident and was looking for things to do. So on Thursday, he went shopping at garage sales with his grandmother in west Wichita, Kan.
At the third garage sale, he spotted an old Polaroid Impulse — a cool find, given that a lot of popular online photo filters imitate what these cameras used to do. He bought the Polaroid for $1.
But it didn't work when he took it home. After looking at some videos on YouTube, he realized he needed another antique: film.
He cracked the camera open and found a bit of history inside: a classic photo of a young guy and girl hanging out.
He showed the photo to his grandmother.
"Wow," she said, and kept staring at the photograph.
"That's your uncle," she said.
Addison's uncle, Scott Logan, was her son, who died 23 years ago in a car crash.
Addison's dad, Blake Logan, didn't believe it at first when his son tried to tell him about the photo.
"He called me at work that afternoon, and I just kind of brushed it off, and it didn't really hit me until I got home and he showed it to me," Blake Logan said. "The more time has passed, I just realize the astronomical odds of something like that happening. It baffles me and gives me goose bumps to think about."
Addison, of course, had never met his uncle, who died 10 years before he was born.
"I knew it was an old photo," Addison said, "but I just thought it was a random person."
Many family photos vanished in a flood a few years back, so there aren't many photos of Scott left.
The family thinks the girl in the photograph was a high school girlfriend.
How did the camera wind up at the garage sale? The seller has no idea where it came from or where it's been all these years.
Blake Logan knew he had to show the photo to Dayne, Scott's son, who was 3 when his dad died.
"I just sent him a private message and said, 'I think your dad wants to say hi,' " Blake Logan said.
For now, the camera and the photograph sit on a countertop, with family and friends stopping by to look at it and figure out what to do with it.
"It's just a conversation piece right now," Blake Logan said. "But the more time passes, the more it seems significant. One thing that has also struck me — I put this on my Facebook account, and the people's reaction to it has really kind of been overwhelming. It really moves people, and the more it moves them, I think the more it moves me."