When the Grandparents Clark both died in 1997, my Aunt Carolyn Sanders became custodian to the their belongings. Over the years their worldly possessions have been handed over to other family members. But their photo slides stayed in Milwaukee WI, until recently when Carolyn handed over some of those slides to me.
Douglas and Charlotte Clark were both in a photography club during their lives; neither one was a professional photographer, but they both loved to capture the world around them. Grandpa loved taking pictures of buildings, industry and landmarks, while Grandma loved taking pictures of flowers – and Grandpa. Given that, I’d have to say I take to photography honestly.
The notes on Grandma’s Kodachrome slide above say, “Douglas taking pix of Sanders' home.” Behind him: a yellow Mercury Capri and 1973 Chevrolet Impala wagon on the streets of Milwaukee. He is wearing a suit I remember from when I was very young. Even in old age he had a full head of wavy hair; only a guy like that could pull off wearing powder blue pants!
On the tripod is a Vivitar 220SL camera and 49mm lens. I inherited his camera equipment, including the tripod, after he passed away. The camera body in the picture jammed irreversibly around the year 2000.
“Not surprising,” my Dad says, “since he took thousands of pictures with it.”
Since I wanted to continue using what I could from his kit, I went to eBay and found another 220SL camera body for $35. Now when I use it, I feel like Grandpa is there. I try figuring out how he would have used each lens, or crack the codes of his little Dymo label markers and hash marks on the equipment. A family mystery that makes my analog photography more fun.
And one I’m willing to unravel.