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Rochester, 1976

Rochester, 1976
Originally uploaded by rotorglow at 12 Nov '05, 6.16am PST.

When (and just before) I was born, my parents and I lived in Rochester, NY. After we moved to MN and then PA, some friends of my parents from wayback still lived there, and taught at UR. Since my grandparents lived in Geneva, NY, we'd go back and visit them whenever we were in the area. They had a pair of Ford Capris from the early 70s, which were the immediate ancestor of my father's Capri II. Originally, the Capri was kind of a European take on the Mustang; smallish, sporty, vaguely exotic. I don't think the Obrechts' cars were what got that particular fascination revved up; I rather think it was seeing the revamped model on a trip through Europe to or from India in 74 or 75.

Ok. Fast-forward 25 years.

A few years ago, my uncle was cleaning out his fridge in NYC, and he found a Ziploc bag of both exposed and unexposed film from the ages. Now, every photographer in my family has one of these bags, pushed way back on the bottom or 2nd-from-bottom shelf of the fridge, near the baking soda, pickles and skunked Heineken. Film ages and degrade over time, and refrigeration slows that process down. So we keep partially-shot rolls in the fridge till we can use the unexposed frames. Or keep the one or two odball rolls of special film like HIE, Kodachrome 25 or tungsten-balanced Ektachrome that you can't use for birthday parties or anything other than perfect/special conditions. But, you know, they cost money, so you hate to throw them out, even though they're a decade or more (and counting) out of date.

So, my uncle's cleaning out his fridge one day, and comes across The Film Bag. He opens it up, and there's an unidentified roll of exposed 120 in there. So he takes it to a lab to have it processed, and damned if it isn't a roll of film that (he deduces) was shot by little Christopher in 1976 (or MAYBE 1977, though I doubt it), from waist high (on him, which at the time was, like, knee-high on a grownup person) of his parents' friends fleet of early 1970s Ford Capris. The camera had a waist-level viewfinder, and you can tell I was short at the time because all of the shots of the backs of the cars are looking UP at the underside of the bumper.

That explains the curious composition. I don't really know what to say about the blurriness.


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