Cameras I Have Known & Loved 

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Now you have done it, John Rasmuson. This time you have really provoked me. This time, I have got to react.

It’s about your piece on cameras and the cell-phone snaps in the middle of a conversation [“Picture This,” Feb. 28, City Weekly]. One thing you wrote kinked my memory. In ’55, I bought a VW and had it for 14 years. In your piece, you quit too soon. There were several other things about that “bug” that should have been brought up, so now, John, you’re getting both barrels.

Back to snap-taking in near childhood. My father was a Los Angeles police officer who had been raised in a livery stable. If he didn’t have horses walking on his toes, he wasn’t happy, so he rented property and had a bunch around him. When I was 9 or 10, a close friend of his bought a mare with a colt that he wanted, but he had no interest in the mare, so he gave her to me.

Let’s face it, she wasn’t very eye-catching, but I had to have a camera to record her beauty. My first was a 4x5 box camera. We’re talking about a generation or two before yours—1933 or ’34—so imagine how basic it was. But man, I used and loved it. Then, when in high school, I could work and earn money so I bought a movie (8mm) camera.

When I graduated from high school in January ’42, I had three horses, the Brownie Junior and the movie camera. In November ’42, I joined the Navy as an aviation cadet, kissed my mom and dad and went off to war. The movie camera wasn’t practical. No film, no film development, but you could still find roll film and “bootleg” developing. Then finally, no film. No war pictures.

War over, married, G.I. Bill, college, and the family started, so I got a Kodak roll film to record the family. Graduated from college, went back in the Navy. The family grew, so we went through the 35mm and into the digital and the cell-phone cameras you wrote about.

But you quit too soon! A snapshot in the face is ugly, as you said. But that doesn’t even get into the real rudeness of the cell phone. There you are, talking to someone, you have that conversation going. It is a pleasant encounter, and then they pull out that &$@#! thing and hold it up between your face and their face and start texting and answer. Now, that really flames my backside and chills my brain. That is when I wish for them horrible things, like their back against an adobe wall. The firing squad is there, they have no blindfold. The firing squad smokes the cigarette while your conversational friend waits for the bullet.

I like what you folks are doing. Keep it up.

FRANK GILMORE
Salt Lake City

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