18 months ago I wrote this Steve’s Musing’s piece titled “Two Boxes of History”  which told you about my grandmothers passing and subsequently the two boxes of my grandfather’s old cameras my sister sent on to me with a picture and description of each.

 

18 months ago I wrote an Steve’s Musing’s piece titled “Two Boxes of History”  which told you about my grandmothers passing and subsequently the two boxes of my grandfather’s old cameras my sister sent on to me with a picture and description of each.

You’d think with all these cameras there would have been a ton of negatives.  Some must have surfaced because today the postman dropped off a parcel with a copy of those DVD’s Costco gives you when they make scans of old prints and negatives.  There weren’t enough to account for the everything so I’m going to ask about that.  But there was one image that stood out as both amusing and interesting.  I hope you find it and the accompanying story to be the same.

Above is a scan of a print my grandfather took of my grandmother’s 1963 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, quite a car in those days.  Yup, it’s suspended in the air by the stream of water coming from the fire hydrant underneath it.  This is a great example of a childhood legend being proven true.

I remember as a young boy riding in this car as my grandmother skillfully navigated Beverly Glen Drive on our way to the Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax.  To say the car was grand for its day would be an understatement, and my love for convertibles began the day my grandmother hit the power top button and that huge top folded into the rear of the car.  This might have been where my love of technology began as well because Cadillac’s of that period were full of electronic wizardry you weren’t likely to see anywhere else.  My grandmother loved that car because my grandfather gave it to her for their anniversary.

One afternoon the phone rang and my mother started talking excitedly to my grandmother about something to do with her Cadillac and the fire department.  It wasn’t until a visit several weeks later that my grandfather filled me in with the “real” story.  Not the story my grandmother was telling everyone about the defective parking brake.  Nope, it seems when the fire department finally turned off the hydrant and the car came down to rest on all four wheels my grandfather looked inside to find the car was still in drive and the parking brake was never set!

 

You see, they had a steep driveway similar to the neighbors drive you can see in the background. She came home from work, “parked” the car, and went inside.  A short while later the phone rang and a neighbor was giving her the good news.

 

You see, they had a steep driveway similar to the neighbors drive you can see in the background. She came home from work, “parked” the car, and went inside.  A short while later the phone rang and a neighbor was giving her the good news.

Unfortunately what would now be a classic car was totaled by the insurance company and my grandfather wisely told no one else the real facts of the incident.  To be honest I’m not sure he was telling me, or talking to himself, he was a bit agitated at the time.  And to prove he was really wise and not lucky, he quickly replaced the car with a newer Cadillac Eldorado Convertible.  Isn’t life grand!

This photograph is significant for several reasons.  First, it verified a story I’d been told about but had never seen.  Second, what better example of a “photo opportunity” do you need?  And third and perhaps most important do you realize both of these images are in critical focus?

Sure, these are old prints ran through a box store scanner so I’m sure if I had the actual negatives we’d see a lot more detail and more hints at critical focus.  And let’s remember cameras from the 1960’s, at least normal consumer cameras, required a bit of skill to manually focus the lens.  Which leaves me wondering two things. Where are the negatives (I’m working on this) and is the ability to critically focus a genetic trait? Smile

 

I miss my grandparents.  Both sets.  I’ll always count myself lucky to have such great memories from even better experiences.  I add them to the list holding my parents, a boy who was like my own son, friends, and shipmates who are no longer with us.  During this new year I’ll try to honor and remember them all.