Letter: Letter to the Editor, Don Hill


To the editor:

I don’t remember when I started remembering. You know, as a child, how far back do you remember things.

I think a lot depends on photography. If you are four years old and at Disneyworld and get a picture of yourself with Mickey do you really remember you were there or do you remember you in the picture your folks took.

I think the more pictures of you as a baby and years after, the more you think you remember. Now days click, click, click, your life is documented by pictures.

Not so in my days. TakingĀ  pictures was a rare thing. First of all it was expensive. First you had to have a camera. I remember our family’s camera; it opened up and the lens pulled out in a bellows like an accordion.

I remember it was rather beat up around the edges. You pushed a button on the end of a cable. Next you had to buy film at the drugstore. Rolls of black and white film came in 12, 24 and 36 exposures. We would buy the 12 because it would take a year to take 36 pictures.

Taking outside pictures with plenty of sunlight was necessary. Usually the shadow of the photographer was in the picture. After carefully selecting something that you thought was really important you would finally get the roll exposed.

Now you took it back to the drugstore to get it developed. Then you waited a week or more for it to come back from the developer. This was another expense.

Now came the exciting part. Usually it had been a month since you took the first picture so you have forgotten what was on the roll, and of course, you hoped that the pictures “turned out”. Usually there would be a few that were out of focus or totally black. No matter, you had to pay for them all.

Later cameras with flash attachments came out. This was another expense; flash bulbs. If you took any indoor pictures you had to have a flash. Bulbs came in clear and blue. I don’t remember the purpose of the blue ones.

Anyway they cost maybe twenty-five cents a bulb and they only worked one time. That was a lot of money particularly since I never had much. So when you took a picture, a lot of thought went into it. Was it worth the expense?

Which brings me back to what I remember. There are very few pictures of me. One when I have my Sunday suit on and one of my brother and I in matching clothes. No, we were not twins.

And since there were no memorious places to go such as Disneyworld, there was little on the farm I wanted to spend money on taking pictures. It wasn’t until school pictures came out that I found out what I looked like.

So much for remembering. I hope you save all of your selfies, they will come in handy when you are eighty-seven.

Don Hill, Seymour

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