My father claimed that he had no talents whatsoever. He was just an engineer. He made that claim as if having talent was a bad thing, which is odd considering the fact that his grandfather was a photographer of note in the Dakota Territory (late 1880s). A fact I did not discover until after my father’s death.
Unfortunately Great Grandpa Flaten died young and his widow married a judge. A very practical, no-nonsense judge. Grief takes people in strange directions, or in my great grandmother’s case, toward comfort and solace. I suppose that’s when talent got a bad rep.
Although he claimed to have none of his grandfather’s talent, I remember a time when my father turned one of our bathrooms into a dark room. He covered the one window with black sheets of paper, laid out pans of solution on the vanity and used the shower curtain as a drying rack for his photos. He owned other cameras but a Brownie like this one was his favorite.
The following pictures were taken with the Brownie. They’re not in very good shape but I love the way he caught light and shadow.
He also had a good sense of timing.
Or here … a rapturous moment. Boy, dog and mackerel (at least I think it’s a mackerel).
And he had a way of predicting the future. This picture of me at age one … after taking a tumble down the stairs and banging my head … is exactly what I look like now decades later.
How did he do it? My wardrobe hasn’t even changed! Unfortunately the dark room was disassembled when he left us in Reno to get a PhD. Thereafter he seemed to lose interest.
More of grandmother … nice to think she was at one time happy!
I’m waiting on news of a friend which I fear has little chance of being good. But the Red Quill continues to grow. It’s now up to my knees. Time to order seeds. I need to see other signs of life rise from the ground.
What will you be planting this year? I’m thinking Shasta Daisies and ornamental grasses.