Speaking of mythologizing Sanskrit, it turns out I have indeed been guilty of mythologizing Oren-san the master of Photographica, Inscrutable Wise One of LF and Historical Camera Lore. It turns out he does not have nine advanced degrees; he only has nine degrees total, and fully four of them are undergraduate degrees, and all of those are from MIT, and how hard could that be? Secondly, it turns out he did not teach himself Japanese so he could read Japanese camera magazines, as I have been known to claim; rather, he learned Japanese to read said magazines by auditing Japanese language courses at Harvard, although he did audit the first-, second-, and third-year courses concurrently. Next, it does not take him twenty minutes to describe exactly what it is he does for a living. This weekend he did it in under ten (basically, he's a high-level science and technology policy expert for the government, if that radical simplification does not do too much damage to the subtlety of the facts). The Oren-mobile is not a '46 Studebaker; it is an unrestored '64 Plymouth Belvedere. Finally, he does not own 400 cameras, and I have been in error when I have stated that one entire room of the Oren Grad Residential Large-Format Museum and View Camera Graveyard is inaccessible because it is occupied by his collection of mammoth 19th-century stand cameras; actually his suburban Connecticut house, ordinary-looking on the outside, only contains some 150 cameras, including 64 view cameras, and two studios and one darkroom, not three and two as I might have let slip in the past.
My apologies for my obdurate and incorrigible* exaggerating. Guilty.
[UPDATE: For the record, in case it's not obvious, none of the above is true. I'm just pulling my friend Oren's leg. More background: Oren is the guy who, seven years ago, sent me an email saying that he'd been reading a number of blogs every day and that he thought I should start one. I replied, "What in the world is a 'blog'?" And here we are. —Mike]
Pam and friend
Secondly, it might not be obvious to casual readers, but some items on Ye Blog are intended for some subset of the audience, and not the whole parish; so, for the three dozen or fewer readers for whom this will have meaning, I cannot resist posting the above picture of my very good old friend (can I say "old"?) and fellow former Corc Photo-Dawg (Corcoran School Photo '85) Pam Risdon, shown with some Dude. She doesn't look pleased at all to be hobnobbing with famous actors, does she? (I told her she should Photoshop in the bowling alley from The Big Lebowski in the background.)
Pam (we knew her as Pam West in those days) and her husband Cable are both successful commercial, event, and fine-art photographers in the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, proving, as I try to do every everlovin' day, that there is life in the art after art school.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by JK: "I've ridden in the Oren-mobile and it's at least as cool as the Dude's wheels!"
Mike replies: I really do think we need to get him a Plymouth Belvedere, anyway.