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Monday, 18 October 2021


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"...And by the way, we challenged each other to get the old cameras out of mothballs and shoot a roll of film before our next meetup. I'm in."

This seem like such an obvious thing for those of us with stacks of world class film cameras collecting dust. I remember when on various forums around 2000, many were predicting the end of film, and many of us with thousands of dollars of Leica, Nikon and other then-pro model film cameras were in denial about how easy it would be to continue with film.

In my local area, I could not buy a roll of film or get it processed for any amount of money. There isnt a single photo shop or film lab within a 100 mile radius of me. Sure would be great to load up the M6 or F3 and take 36 frames for old time sake, but logistically, it ain't happening.

Good luck in your exercise.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Nice post, Mike.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION: Copyediting note: "The Decisive Moment had was..." There are too many verbs in that fragment.

"And by the way, we challenged each other to get the old cameras out of mothballs and shoot a roll of film before our next meetup. I'm in."

This implies that no one who attended the Zoom is currently working primarily, or even regularly, in film. Makes me sad to hear.

[No, but, rather remarkably, we're all still in the arts or photography or another creative craft after all these years. Three are professional photographers. --Mike]

I'm glad you had a meetup, Mike. Sounds like it may have helped to invigorate you. Hope y'all follow up with the film thing.

I imagine your friends follow you here? I’d love to hear their memories of you!

Mike, nice post thanks for sharing.

Your autobiographical posts are always so beautifully, eloquently, emotively written. Peerless. You can write more of these if you like, so much more interesting than cameras.

You were very fortunate Mike. That sounds like a wonderful experience.

I've been thinking a lot about the importance of face-to-face, intensive interaction and the role it plays in pushing us forward in art. There's no substitute (that I've found anyway) in the online world. Not even close.

Albert Smith (^^^), two words: Mail. Order.

Great post. Glad you were able to reconnect with these old compadres. We had our 50th high school reunion (delayed by a year and changed to outside) a few weeks ago. I didn’t go to the big party but I did go to an outside dinner with some folks. It was great to reconnect. I am older than you, but the hard/weird part was the list of around 50 people who have died, some of whom I also went to college with. Of course, out of a class of >700 that is a natural and predictable thing, but still pretty sad.

I would like to use Zoom, but I found a bug in the system.

One sentence in your essay reminded me of the "It's a small world" cliche.

My older granddaughter just graduated from Reed in May with an art degree. By chance, her thesis has the distinction of being the first one by a Native American in the Art Department at Reed, so it will always be of note regardless of what future generations may think of its artistic merit. (It is a critique of how mainstream museums treat Native American art.)

FWIW, as an engineer I had never noticed Reed until my granddaughter said that she wanted to go there. I have since been quite impressed with the school, and can see why you chose it years ago.

- Tom -

I went to a college reunion a couple of years ago and at dinner sat surrounded by the people I had got to know in 1965-1968 and (in most cases) not seen since. It took just a few minutes for the adult identities to be shed, but within a short time all the old dynamics were reestablished: the pushy people were still pushy, the thoughtful people were still thoughtful, and I ended the evening with the sense that over the years people may change, but they don't change fundamentally. And I felt my college friends had been, by and large, well chosen. Maybe it's nostalgia, but I found that very reassuring.

There's a short film on Vimeo about this very topic (sort of) "https://vimeo.com/229687375".

I saw Bruce Springsteen open for Fairport Convention. I was probably 15 at the time, but knew Springsteen was gonna be big.

I saw a shirt at the pub the other day that made me laugh.

Three of my favorite things

In 1969, a friend and I (while hitchhiking up and down California for the Summer) attended a free Hells Angels benefit concert (for a slain member) at Longshoremen’s Hall in San Francisco, headlined by Grateful Dead. An unknown (to us) local band also played, and we were delighted. It was Santana, who became well known not long after. Those were the days (and not just for music: we found free rooms to stay by friendly locals the whole Summer. Try that now, let alone the hitchhiking.)

Having lived in Maryland/DC area for many years, beginning my photographic journey in 1974 (including collecting prints and books), I’m sure we could talk for hours about similarly shared experiences and contacts.

This post makes me happy for three reasons:
1. It's a great post.
2. "I promised a post on Mondays, so I've got to be good and get this up." I think this bodes well for the new TOP schedule (or new new schedule)! I finished my PhD last year, and my supervisor would often remind me not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And I read a book about psychology of work which said if possible, it's good to end each day's work with a little bit of juice left in the tank.
3. Mike is gonna shoot film again!

For the sake of generational equity, I’m happy to say that I saw
Brainiac, Sonic Youth, the Beastie Boys, Fishbone, Morphine, Sparklehorse, Elliot Smith, REM, and Nirvana. Sadly those performances will never happen again, music is fleeting and you never know when a band will end. The Morphine show I saw was the last one in the US. If you’re not familiar with them, check them out. There’s no doubt that had Mark Sandman been born 10-20 years earlier he would have been a legendary figure. No generation has a lock on creativity and expression and rock shows didn’t end in 1974.

[But dude, those are old bands now! A month or so ago I heard on the Oldies station on the radio that it's the 30th anniversary of "Nevermind." Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys is not too many years from 60 and lives in a Midcentury-Modern showpiece house in Pasadena. "No Sleep Till Pasadena"?? Hate to break it to you, but you could wear Dan's T-shirt too.... :-) --Mike]

"Zack S: "Speaking of seeing the best bands, I saw the Doors play the longest set they ever performed, at Cobo Arena in Detroit. Also saw Springsteen for the Born to Run tour and Pink Floyd do the Dark Side of the Moon tour there too. I saw Bob Seger play in a small bar long before he hit it big. Worked security for a show that John Lee Hooker was doing and just he and I sat around talking for about an hour."

I want to be you.

Hey, one of your old classmates is a friend of mine and my wife's. How cool is that?

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