ALONE IN MY DARKROOM

Growing up in rural Tennessee, in the 1930’s and 40’s, I had experience with our family’s Kodak camera. It was called a box camera because the housing was basically a six to seven inch cube made of black cardboard. Most families owned one as they cost just a few dollars and rolls of film were cheap. Pictures were made, usually of people posed, standing in a row. All photos were taken outside, usually on Sunday when we were in our best clothes, and usually in full sun as there was no flash on a box Kodak. The limited number of exposures on each roll, either twelve or twenty four, were used with careful forethought to make each one count. Continue reading

EMILY, MOSS, AND ME

I strolled slowly across the grounds of Paris Landing State Park near my childhood home in Tennessee. The park was established after the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) dammed the Tennessee River in the mid 1940’s, created Kentucky Lake, and achieved rural electrification in the area. Emily and Alex Hancock were with me. They were the young children of my daughter’s new husband, John Hancock. “Oh, look”, I said. “Here’s some moss. Let’s touch it. Don’t you just love the way it feels!” Emily and Alex barely knew me, so they obediently reached down and touched the moss, but didn’t say anything. Continue reading