Tuesday, January 24, 2006

EVERYTHING LOOKS WORSE
IN BLACK & WHITE...
...or does it? (a lesson in posting under pressure with nothing to write about!)


That lyric line, of course, comes from Paul Simon's 1973 hit, "Kodachrome". (The only top-40 record in history to feature a registered trademark, by the way.) We live in an instant-color world. I remember back when, before every NBC program, the "peacock" would unfold its wings, and the announcer would say, "this program is brought to you in LIVING COLOR".

The first camera I ever had was an old Polaroid black and white model. You'd put a cartridge of film in, take your picture, and then out would pop a flap of paper. You'd pull HARD on that flap of paper, wait 15 seconds (I was always counting, 'one-one thousand, two-one thousand', etc...and then peel the picture from the sticky goopy film chemicals it had been stuck to, and voila, a picture! Wish I'd had the foresight to go around town and take LOTS of pictures back then. I took a few, of our house, our ducks, our family, etc. I can imagine, though, that taking pictures back in the 40's and 50's was a lot more cumbersome; I've actually developed photos in a darkroom, and it is an 'exacting' process. I was always in awe of my little Polaroid camera, and how magically the picture appeared.

Later on, I had a Kodak "Handle" camera; I'd take the shot, and then manually turn a crank and the photo would come out. I am still low-tech; I have one of those Polaroid cameras where you take the photo and the photo automatically emerges. Film for that camera ain't cheap!

I didn't have a whole lot of things to write about this evening, and I was kinda desperate for a blog topic, ANY blog topic! "Ah, but I've got LOTS of pictures on file!", I thought, thinking to myself. So here is yet another picture of City Beach and Playland Pier, taken sometime around 1950. (Click on it for an enlargement)

In the 60's and 70's, when I swam at the beach a lot, there was no "big waterslide", but it's not in this photo either. It must have disappeared sometime in the '40s. But the scene remains the same. You'd swim until you're too sunburned to stay outside any longer, then you'd take your nickels and dimes up to Playland Pier where you could get a soda, or ice cream cone, or perhaps take a spin on the Bumper Cars! This was taken "back in the day" when Coeur d'Alene was just a small, largely unnoticed "wide spot in the road". The city's population then was probably about 10,000. (Heck, there's almost that many people living in the Lake Villa Apartments now!)
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Now that I've got ya hooked, I'll whine a little bit dept.: (don't worry, there's another photo coming up) I paid for my drivers' registration renewal today, and the City of CDA actually did something that makes sense...in the bill was a little yellow card saying something about "as our city grows, the lines get longer, so pay by mail." I like paying for things personally, but this made a lot of sense to me! Good job, CDA! You saved my arthritic feet from having to stand in line. What DOESN'T make sense to me, was that my bill went up $7.00 because I have to get new PLATES this year. Why not just let me keep the old ones, buy "stickers" for them, which would keep the prices down? Plus...where are those plates made? The Idaho State Pen? Money has to be spent to TRUCK those plates all the way up here, after all. Add to that the cost of ingredients for the new plates. Okay, prison labor ain't that much, but how much paint has to be bought for the several hundred-thousand new plates which will be stamped? In addition to the cost of the METAL which is used in each plate? How much is all that?

So, when you buy your new plates, the State probably isn't making all that much extra money. The way government works, I'd be surprised if our state's breaking EVEN on this deal. So let me see if I've got this right: The Governor is thinking about sending all us Idaho spuds $50 each for "tax relief"? Well, actually, now, it's $43, because you've gotta buy new plates. And I'm sure future raises, whether in property or sales taxes, will eat into that total even more. I've seen old 1963 Washington plates on some vehicles in that state recently, all with current tags. Why not let Idahoans keep their old plates? I don't get it! To me, a needless expense; just more "red tape" to go through in order to have the right to be overtaxed and overpoliced in Idaho. Oh yeah, and don't forget, as you pay more to drive this year, gas is going back up too. ACK!
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Okay, one more picture and then I'm outta here dept.: I don't get out on the lake very much. Probably once every 10 years, on a cruise during our high school's class reunion. Maybe that's what I should do...get a modest little boat and tour the lake! (nah, maybe not; I'd have to get a boat license, and then I'd get stopped about 3 times an hour by overzealous Lake Cops who'd want to see if I had adequate life preservers; you just can't get AWAY from those guys!) They're everywhere! Back in the '80s, a friend of mine had a boat, and we headed south from the 3rd Street Ramp. Coeur d'Alene Lake isn't the biggest lake in the world, but I remember it took us several hours to get near the south end of the lake. We had to turn around prematurely because the Sun decided it didn't want to hang up there in the sky any longer. And me, I thot that lucky old Sun got nuttin' to do, but roll 'round heaven all day...

In this photo, evidently someone in the boat is showing off for his friends on the shore. I'm not sure "where" on the lake this photo was taken, but you can see Coeur d'Alene waaaay up there in the background. Gotham Bay, perhaps? I know you can see our town from there. This photo was also taken around 1950, and both photos in this post were taken by Leo's studio of Spokane, a business which evidently had a lot of time on its hands, since they obviously went around the countryside doing nothing but take pictures all the time. Sounds like an interesting job to me! So does everything look worse in black and white? I don't know, but these old photos have a historical charm all their own.
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Wow, I'm late tonite! It's almost 10pm and I'm just getting done. That would be a good warning for Bloggers! "It's 10pm; do you know where YOU are?" This blog entry? I'd say it's a rather good fake job. Hopefully I'll have an actual topic to write about tomorrow. Accidents do happen!

4 Comments:

Blogger stebbijo said...

I have old photos of my mother and her friends screwing around on Lake Pend Orielle in black and white.

I never thought of them as "historical charm," but I guess they are.

12:01 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Hi Stebbs...I don't wanna be presumptuous, but it sounds like you have some 'ambivalence' towards your family. Don't worry, that's how I feel, too. I don't know how much value old photos have, unless they have landmarks, or old businesses in them, otherwise, they're just 'old photos'. I love taking pictures. I gotta get me a digital cam and printer SOON.

8:05 PM  
Blogger stebbijo said...

Yep -- you really need the digi camera and printer -- don't know how you do it othewize.

I have landmarks -- however, they may never be famous until they destroy them.

1:22 AM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

I just steal everyone else's photos. My only redeeming quality is that I don't use them for "monetary gain". So I'm not a scumsucking sleazeball. Yet.

7:27 PM  

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