by Skip Cohen
As I've written so many times in the past, I've made Throwback Thursday part of my weekly routine. And while there have been a few times when I got too busy and missed sharing an image in a blog post, that doesn't change the way old photographs remind me of the role our industry plays in the world.
I'm somewhere around ten or so in this image with Mom on the diving board. When I was a kid, my Dad struggled to manage his own business, and we didn't take any big vacations. However, living in Northeast Ohio, Erie, PA, was just a short drive away. So at least once a summer, we'd head over to Presque Isle, PA, for the weekend. This one trip was pretty special because a college kid name Andy was the lifeguard and taught me how to swim. I laugh about being afraid of the water back then because the ocean, in my adult years, along with scuba-diving became such an important part of my life.
But there's so much more to an image like this than just the memories of the event at the time. My folks have long since passed away, but this throwback takes me right back to memories that make me smile.
One memory that it brought back was my Dad's first 35mm camera. My uncle was in the army and had been based in Europe in the early 50s. So, in addition to coming home with a new TR3, he got Dad a "real" camera. Along with Kodak film and a Bell and Howell projector, that camera changed our lives. Dad would shoot more slides every trip, and then weeks later, after swinging by Gray Drug to pick up his slides, we'd all be together laughing over the memories.
The camera was an Agfa with a fixed lens, but it had the best accessory ever invented to that point - a mechanical self-timer. Suddenly Dad could be in the photograph, thanks to any car, table, chair, or fence post close by. He'd hit the timer and then run as we'd all listen for the gears' quiet grinding and the shutter's click. He'd make it most of the time, but now and then, the camera would catch him halfway to posing.
Dad's first real camera became my first camera in later years. And in searching for images on the Internet, I couldn't find the exact model, but the shot above is about the same vintage.
And that brings me right to my point with today's Throwback Thursday post - whether you share images with family and friends or not, take the time to appreciate your roots in photography. At the same time, recognize the incredible role we all share to help people keep capturing memories! It's a big responsibility, and while the image I'm sharing today is just a grab shot, it doesn't change the value of a quick trip in the time machine.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.