Thursday, June 29, 2017

Budding Explorer and Photographer



            I’m sorta maybe answering two requests. Roberto asked for a story about my family. Amy wanted to see photos I took as a child. Let’s start with the photos.
            My dad’s mother was a saver of things. When she died that presented us with problems. Understand, she took pains to keep her house clean and organized, but there was an endless amount of stuff. Some of it was really nice ‘stuff.’ And some not. But that all happened later.
            When I was eight or nine she opened her cedar chest, a treasure chest of sorts, full of old photos and albums and her dad’s papers and her childhood dolls. I loved looking through its contents even though I’d seen it all before. In the bottom right corner was this strangish black box with a wheel to turn and lever to click and an amazing mechanism on the front: A Kodak Brownie box camera. I’m not certain how old it was. Probably it was from the 1930s. Some of the photos were taken with that camera. She gave it to me.
            Dad helped me find film for it. I’m fairly certain that finding K six-20 film is almost impossible today. But I no longer have the camera. Back in the day, it was easy to find and inexpensive. I took a bazillion photos with gram’s old camera. I have some of them still, but none of them are arty or very good at all. I was nine. Nine year olds are usually not great photographers.
            Dad took us to odd places, interesting places. I was his most faithful co-explorer, so sometimes it was just he and I. He bought a book about ghost towns. I turned the pages, fascinated by the abandoned buildings. I wanted to visit one. There aren’t many near where we lived. But there was Kiona, an unincorporated village that had nearly disappeared. We went there. There were two houses built in 1864, one lived in and one empty. I should back up and tell you that Kiona nearly disappeared in 1894 when a series of drought driven fires spread through Washington State. There were other empty houses out there too, almost all of them now gone.
            I found some of the photos I took that day. As I said, they aren’t very good. But here they are:





            The smaller house was open, and we went inside. A mound of trash and beer bottles littered the floor. There was a Playboy foldout. It was dated 1956, as I recall it. The woman displayed there on was pudgy and not at all attractive.
            Better photos of the 1864 house, the two story house, are on the internet. But this is the one I took. You cannot see it, but the foundation to the house is made from huge granite boulders. I haven’t been back in ages. I have no clue what’s there now other than vineyards.
           

1 comment:

roberto said...

They are artistic photos. Why? Because they are taken from a 9 years old girl with an old old camera. this make the story intriguing