Friday, January 15, 2010

Here's a story for ya...

About 6 years ago I picked up an old Kodak Hawkeye (Flashfun to be exact) at either a thrift store or a yard sale in Grover Beach. Sarah has the exact same camera.

Mine is super busted like and cracked in places, but I loved it and wanted to try to use it for something. After I bought it I noticed that there was film in it. This thrilled me more than the camera and I couldn't wait to finish out the roll and develop it. Like I said, this was about 6 years ago.

Skip ahead about 3 years to thanksgiving in Fresno with Kate at our Aunt Mel's. In full Megan fashion, I waited this long to even start to finish the film. We took some shots for our fake band "jealous orchid" and had a good ol' time.

Come along with me to last year. I don't remember when or what the subject was, but I finished the roll...

Keep up for just one more year to about 2 weeks ago. I FINALLY sent in the finished roll with all of the photos that I've never seen from 50 years ago + our Fresno pics + whatever else I took pictures of. I sent 11 rolls of film to be developed. Nearly all 110 film from my favorite camera I've ever minolta. Anyway, that's another post. One of the rolls was the 127 film from this camera and I nearly forgot that there was a whole mystery waiting to be seen. I fantasized about how someone might have taken pictures of a scandalous scene or perhaps finding the one camera that was in Dallas when Kennedy was assassinated that could be the smoking gone and reveal everything we've all wondered. I imagined all of these dramatic photos and then forgot about it and sent them off.

(the big reveal)

I nearly cried when I saw these:

Two men sitting on what looks like a train. The gentleman in the foreground looks to be a conductor eating his meal.

This one features a woman with dimples smiling slyly in a controlled fashion, smoking while riding the train.

Now we see another conductor? and his lady sitting side by side with--this really got me--the open road behind them from the back of the train. I love that she's looking at him and he's looking forward. I like to think that this is the conductor's car and perhaps she's going on a long date with him.

I can't even express how these made me feel. I instantly felt like I was peering into something I should never have seen, but am so glad I did. I'm also really happy they didn't turn out to be pictures of a park or something. I love the election poster in the pictures (I can't endorse it without knowing what it is, but I love that it's there and think it's done quite nicely). I want to be on that train with them. I want to find their grandchildren or grandnieces or whoever and give these to them. Or maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe it only serves me and my self-indulgent sense of nostalgic adventure for a time from which my Mother came of age. I don't know, but it really thrilled me. These photos sat undeveloped for nearly 50 years and they made their way to me and, though it took me 6 years, I helped them along to finally be seen.

The other crazy thing that blew my mind was that of all the photos (13 i think) the only additional photos to turn out were these:

Darling Miss Kate

and myself

Two lucky ladies who got to share a roll of film with some traveling folks from 50 years ago when things seemed slower and better, but likely were more difficult for different reasons. We hitch-hiked onto their roll of film and I kind of feel weird about that, but also totally happy about it. I don't know what to say! I wanted to share it with my ladies.


I need to re-scan these with a cleaner/better scanner


  1. People are so flippant with "omigod" these days, that I feel like it doesn't do this post justice. But all I can think is "OH. MY. GOD." This is SO cool, it makes me wanna scream. A few things I love:

    1. That you waited. Makes for a better story, in this reporter's opinion.
    2. The lady smoking in photo #2. Smoking on public transit!
    3. That the pictures contain your favorite subject matter: adults hanging out.
    4. The tracks trailing out of the back door and off into the distance in photo #3. So, so beautiful.

    I can't help but think about all the lost gems on many undeveloped rolls of film since the dawning of film itself. So glad that you rescued these from meeting a similar fate. A truly magickal post, Megs!

    p.s. You and Kate look STUNNING.

  2. Thanks Tate! I'm glad you are as excited by this too! I was moved by them. I agree with your #4 completely. It's so incredible. Doesn't it make you want to search for cameras with undeveloped film? Three more thoughts came to mind this morning:

    1.I keep thinking about that third photo. I'm assuming the conductor really loves his job and trains and traveling in general. Perhaps he set up the picture to include his lady and himself and his other lady (the open road). Or, perhaps the photographer is the other conductor who framed it so beautifully.

    2.I can't help but wonder why the film wasn't developed! Maybe they forgot about it and put it in a box to be given away or maybe they broke up and one of them was pissed and wanted to give it away. I guess I'm assuming a lot by saying that they were romantic, but I get that vibe from those two. haha

    I think the best part is the mystery surrounding these faces that we've never seen. Speculation is a day-dreamer's junk food.

  3. i seriously don't even know what to say. this quite possibly could be the best discovery anyone has ever made

  4. I'm really super glad you think so because I was flipping out and couldn't really articulate why and then wondered if anyone else would be as blown away.

  5. this post gave me the chills! ditto on all of the above. seriously how exciting...what a fun discovery!

  6. imagine the relationship between all the individuals, like they share a secret. crossing over from present into the past like that! i'm getting carried away here maybe, but in a way you found a loophole in time.

    it also clued me into something: there may be trapped images in my hawkeye.

  7. Girl, what are you waiting for? Check the little red window on the back and see if there is film in there! I hope there is!