Some Memories

I was doing some IM chatting with Skip Evans earlier, and we were harking back to what we were doing back in high school. These bits are taken from our chat…

I was working construction in 1977. I was on the survey crew for Superior Paving. I worked summers there from 1977 to 1980.

We did a job on a stretch of state highway near Okeechobee once. We tended to work from 7AM to whenever. Okeechobee closes down hard at 5:30 PM. We didn’t quit work that early very much.

It must have been 1977 for Okeechobee. Star Wars was playing at the theater. I drove by, noticed the sign, and pulled into the almost empty parking lot. I asked the ticket attendant how sales were going, and he said, “The usual.” But the rest of the world loved it.

That was on the way to the lake. I was going to take some pictures. I got to the park, and the fog was already coming in. There was a pier with a bench at the end and a couple necking there. There were about seven cars parked at the base of the pier, with six cars with couples necking. After about 10 minutes the couple at the end of the pier got up, walked to their car, and drove away. The doors popped open on a car, and a couple got out and walked down to the end of the pier. It was a line for the bench on the pier! Each of those couples took a turn.

(Skip asked if I took pictures.)

Of course. I’m sure I have those somewhere. On 6x7cm black and white negative. My first pro-level camera was a Koni-Omega Rapid 6x7cm (2.25 x 2.75 inch) rangefinder.

This is a bit later model, but very similar. (Still use it?) Not now, no. It’s in pretty sad condition. Of course, I picked it up in sad condition originally for $100. I did photography for the Lakeland Little Theater so they had stuff for their playbills. I shot my graduating high school class group photo with it. The lens is freakishly sharp. The aperture and shutter speeds are set on the lens, and the rings go in opposite directions. So once you set an EV value, you can just twist both rings in one direction and your exposure is equivalent. The design goes back to the 1950s, when the Navy requested a camera for fleet operations. Simmons-Omega of New Jersey hooked up with Konica, so the camera body was an American production and the lens was a Konica Hexanon. Oh, yes, I did aerial photography with it, too.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.