Saturday, February 03, 2007

Something Sad, (to me at least)

I have been laboring over photographs for many years. Taking photographs. Trying to keep up with photographs. Organizing photographs.

On the one occasion where we actually loaded up and got out of Dodge because of a hurricane (Floyd in 1999), we grabbed the people, the important papers, and the photographs and slides. That's how I feel about photographs. They're priceless to me.

Lovely Wife is our church's secretary, and spends part of each day there taking care of things. There are always people stopping by the church to drop off things that can be taken to the people of Haiti (our Pastor spends one week per month in Haiti as part of the Love A Child organization). Clothes, shoes and so forth are welcome, because there are people there who would otherwise be barefooted and naked.

Anyhoo, for some reason, people also drop off the STRANGEST stuff.

Yesterday, Lovely Wife brought home to me three large boxes of meticulously organized and labeled (for the most part) 35mm slides from the late 1950's to around 1970. Although I'm not sure of the dates, I've just glanced at them and there are as many or more slides in these three boxes as I have of my own. Well, maybe not, but there's a bunch of 'em.

Point is, someone brought these and dropped them off at the church without telling anyone. We can't find out who brought them. The people we've asked don't have a clue. The Pastor didn't want them. So Lovely Wife brought them home to me, or else they would have gone to the dumpster behind the church for lack of interest.

Here's the thing. These are a family's photographs from years of trips all up and down the eastern U.S. It appears this family lived in or near Wilmington, N.C.

Some of the slide boxes are labeled: 7th Florida Trip 1959, 8th Florida Trip 1960, etc., with a description of each slide hand-written on little lines on the sides of each roll of slide's box.

As I said, there's so much here, it's mind boggling.

But sad too. This guy, whoever the family's photographer was, was really good with his exposures using 35mm slides. If you have never used 35mm slides, just know that they have almost no margin of error on your exposure. Either the slide is properly exposed, almost white or clear from overexposure, or black from underexposure. Print film is MUCH more forgiving and hand handle a "bad" exposure while still giving you some detail. 35mm slide photography isn't for the lazy photographer; half of his or her pics will turn out terrible without care and experience.

So here's this family's treasure, in my opinion anyway, sitting on our computer room floor this morning, for lack of a better keeping place.

I scanned a few to show y'all.

All of these shots were from a couple of random boxes marked "Florida 1964". No details other than that.

The name Loveday is on some of the stuff with the boxes, and addresses in Southampton, N.Y.


Babystepper said...

What a tragedy! Surely there is some family member out there who would love to have these backs. Those really are excellent photos! I hope someone reading your blog can recognize the names or places. Good luck!

Travis said...

It is sad. Maybe the person can't bare to see the memories anymore. How wonderful for a film bug such as yourself to come into possession of them.

So often precious photographs are lost - to fire or other disaster, or to improper storage.