|Exposure 37 & 36|
Because I am a human being who is a product of the 20th century, I feel now, with the death of my wife Rosemary on December 9 2020, to be rudderless in a sea of change.
Only routine keeps me on an even keel (enough with these nautical terms!). One very important one is walking my male cat (without a leash) Niño (his sister Niña is not as daring) around the block every day.
There is comfort in the routine of entering my nicely heated oficina and sitting at my desk to write as I am now.
There is another routine that helps. This is the idea that manners, style and knowledge persist in a few people I know. Stellar in this category is writer John Lekich with whom I worked paring my photographs with his lovely writing for Vancouver Magazine, the Globe and Mail and the Georgia Straight.
I would add another quality to Lekich and this is that he is old-fashioned. He thinks about women the way we did back then. Why can they not be on a pedestal and at the same time still be at eye contact in front of us? He marvels at who they are and comments about them or to them in social media without ever offending. This routine of his keeps my ship (again) on a straight course.
He is one of the few that reads my blogs and goes beyond the photographs, although, while he often comments, he does use emojis (anathema!).
He reacted to this blog (below is the link) about the red-haired stewardess I may have photographed around 1978. The pictures he liked are at least 44 years old. I am adding a pair of the two last ones just because I have the urge to do so. But I will add a little explanation about the two photographs. Because the colour negative I used was inherently unstable it is really impossible to properly correct the colour. And I am sure that Lekich will enjoy them.
When I used film, if I loaded my camera in a darkroom (or with a changing bag), I could sometimes get more than the 36 exposures of a 36-exposure roll. Sometimes I could even get a 38 one. In Argentine Spanish this is called yapa (extra).
The two photographs here are the 36th and 37 exposures.
I marvel at the fact that the red-haired woman may now be close to 80 and I wonder if she is alive and where she lives. There is something about looking at a portrait of a person I photographed long ago that makes me wonder about the phenomenon I feel when I do so.
For me it all began at the Lincoln Library on Calle Florida
in 1950. The library was an arm of the United States Information Service (a
long title for what they really were, spies) that was adjacent to the American
Embassy. It was there that I discovered that I could borrow books and take them
home! One of the books (it could have
been a magazine) called American Heritage. In it were some photographs of soldiers
of the American Civil War taken by Timothy 0’Sullivan, Alexander Gardner and
Matthew Brady. There were some that
were dead on the field. Others
were alive and looking in my direction. I could not help but notice that they
looked like the Argentines walking outside. It was also my first realization
that the soldiers in the photographs were now all dead. Death stared at my face for the first time.
While the red-haired stewardess may be alive there is something about looking at these pictures that takes me back to the most important moment in my life at the Lincoln Library.
I believe that my friend John Lekich would understand this. If he were to somehow spot this red-haired stewardess I am sure he would open the door for her. Gentlemen then are still gentlemen now. That is an unchanging routine I share with Lekich.