Dreaming in EktachromeWednesday, December 25, 2019
One of the most enjoyable features of that past century that was the 20th was the importance of journalism. It was for me an era where a dream one night could be a reality a month later. Why a month? This was because I was a gainfully employed magazine photographer in Vancouver and in many cases in the rest of Canada and beyond. You pitched a story at the beginning of the month and if you were lucky you would see it in print by the end of it,
My writing cohort, Les Wiseman (began as a writer of rock music for Vancouver Magazine in a column called In One Ear and finished as associate editor before moving on to teach journalism) and I liked to watch the marvelous local stripper scene in many pubs in the city. Wiseman imbibed beer and I drank expensive soda water.
Looking back at that scene from this different century it all seems quaint and, clean. The local bars were run like ships and you could lick the floors. This all of course was happening, as yet no man could sit at his computer with a beer on the side and look at pornography. Not that any of the strippers Wiseman and I liked where anywhere close to representing any association with that ugly word.
Another interesting feature about our local exotic dancer scene was that the women involved realized how important it was to choose their music. Some were daring in dancing to Lou Reed or to tunes by local pop or punk bands.
Samantha, who you see here, liked to dance to Roxy Music’s Avalon. She had a perfectly voluptuous body that somehow was paradoxically slim and elegant. Her face could have launched many ships to their eventual destruction. But it was her very long hair that was her piece de resistance. It was long enough to reach beyond her waist. She would somehow sway that hair, much in the same way as a cat can control its tail. Without any clothes her hair was her most important item of clothing.
The photograph you see here is a Kodak Ektachrome. I took this one and others and was well paid for them. Wiseman and I went to Vancouver Magazine Editor Malcolm Parry with the idea that Wiseman explained more or less in this way, “We want to do an article on the stripping scene in Vancouver from the business side of it.”
And so it was. And this Ektachrome somehow reflects for me an age when it was all less complicated and dreams came true.