2/04/2011

I have become my own father...O well, it had to happen.

kodak six-20 folding camera 1939-49
The excitement this week in the Preludium studio, nerve center and environs, has been that I won a bidding on EBay and am now the proud owner of a retro camera... you know, one that uses film on rolls, has dials that you turn to get the f stops, the parts of second that the lens is opened, and the distance from camera to the subject. 

It came in the mail two days ago and I have been making small repairs to it, putting some shoe polish on the leatherette covering, cleaning the lenses, and such.

I ordered film as well - 620 (not an easy film to find.)

Sitting at my desk with small screwdrivers in hand, tightening down the film advance nob, I suddenly realized, "My God, I have become my father."

Ed would sit at his roll top desk at night with a goose-neck lamp aimed at the body of some small camera that he was working on.  Screwdrivers, small pliers, and various emery boards, picks, brushes, and what-all would be applied to the patient as if they were operating room tools. 

He loved this stuff. When he finished he would press the shutter at every speed it had, or turn this or that nob with great satisfaction. There would be healing oils, mostly rare thin and exquisite smelling ones, pressed, sprayed, painted on this or that spring or shutter or crank. Satisfying "clicks' would be heard, and not a thing from him, except sometimes just a hint of a satisfied smile.

That was me last night.

I think that sometime after the spirit / mind meld when father and son are one, it is alright to die. But of course no time soon. There are cameras, old boats, and occasional mislaid hopes in the Anglican Communion to attend to.  Still, although it comes as a shock to realize the union, it's also a blessing.

Christopher and Kathryn can actually use one of these things...I took my first picture and forgot to set for distance. It was an f-6.4 at 25s sort of day at 100 ASA. Kind of cloudy. But inside the sun was all in all. Next time I'll get it right.

7 comments:

  1. I find I'm becoming more my father than my mother. He was a car nut - what today we call high performance cars. Actually, he was into anything fast - cars, ice racing, boat racing. I'm into Formula 1 road racing, any road racing in fact, and have had my own track day (driver education - how to drive safely on a road course!) and a winter driving day coming up for Newlin's and my 30th anniversary celebration. The whole time I'm thinking, I wish my dad could see me now. None of my four brothers are into road racing or Formula 1 grand prix racing.

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  2. Congrats! (I own some old cameras, too)

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  3. An old boat. An old camera. How can this bee with such a man who is so young at heart!

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  4. Oh, Mark, I loved this post - wonderfully evocative.

    Thank you! - Jen

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  5. What a beautiful camera!

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  6. Our father, who art in heaven,would greatly approve.

    As you know, in our family you can't take good pictures if you don't have a good camera.

    As non-Engineers we now understand the enchantment with problem solutions that Engineers enjoy...now if we could only do math!

    Christopher

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  7. anne harris6/2/11 11:45 AM

    anne
    The drawer full of Leicas was swapped for ancient Graflexes, which in turn for "OYSTERS", fancy old watches. Oh how Ed loved to swap for equally fine goodies, never for money!
    Anne, never swapped.

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