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Photography, Again?! May 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, People.

Continued from . . . Pulling Rank!

Dad received a Mercury II camera in February; it wasn’t what he wanted.  In the next several letters, he explained in great and tedious detail why he wanted a Kodak camera instead:

“I would rather have a 35 mm camera than anything else.  All the best films are made in that size.”

“I hope you will not think I am being too critical in my choice of a camera, but I want a camera that has a lens good enough so that I can make large enlargements from the negatives when I get home and buy an enlarger which I plan to do.”


“I don’t think that there is much other news.  I did start learning Korean.  We have had three classes.  Everyone who has had Latin, French, Spanish, or some other European language says that Korean is a lot harder than any they have studied before.”

On April 12th, he wrote about cameras and film and cameras and slides, then said:

“Now I had better change the subject.  Probably everyone at home gets sick of reading photography.”

“By the news the last few days, it sounds as though moves to create a Korean Government will be made soon.  I hope Russia will work with us on this.  I don’t think it was a good idea to divide Korea at the 38th parallel in the first place.  But taking steps to liberate Korea from occupational troops, or at least approving such steps, may force Russia to change her policy toward Korea.”

On April 25th, he wrote Marjorie:

“I received a letter from Marge.  The writer had apparently been reading some of my letters and did not exactly approve of my most popular theme ~ ‘PHOTOGRAPHY’.  Can you imagine anyone not approving of such a fine subject as that?”

“Well, I think it would be wise if the security of my letters home were guarded more carefully, so as not to expose them to the type of moron who would criticize one of my fine letters.  (Got to get back a little of that sarcasm you used on me.)

“I managed to waste quite a lot of paper.  If you don’t hear from me for a while you will know it is only because I am trying to save paper.”


Once he received the Kodak 35 with rangefinder in June, he sold the Mercury.

On July 4th, he wrote his father to thank him:

“The Kodak 35 arrived several days ago and I am well satisfied with it.  It is a much better camera than the Mercury II which I have already sold.”

Throughout the years, dad’s interest in photography stood him in good stead during travels, national and international.  Our house included a dark room for developing and enlarging black and white prints in the days before digital photography.

Continued next week:  Thanks . . . But No Thanks!




1. Pix Under the Oaks - May 26, 2014

Whew! Thank heavens he got the Kodak 35! He knew what he wanted!!! Awesome camera. Nancy did he hang on to that camera? I would think that would be so nice for you to have.

nrhatch - May 26, 2014

My older brother has dad’s photography stuff, including several old cameras. Not sure if the Kodak 35 is included in the mix, but it might be. I’m happy with my little digital point and shoot.

2. Pulling Rank | Spirit Lights The Way - May 26, 2014

[…] Continued next Monday . . . Photography, Again?! […]

3. nancytex2013 - May 26, 2014

I love this series!

nrhatch - May 26, 2014

Thanks, Nancy. I was glad this landed on Memorial Day ~ it seems a suitable post for a day set aside to honor those who have served in the military.

4. Jill Weatherholt - May 26, 2014

What a great post for Memorial Day, Nancy. That camera looks like it would be heavy. Such a big difference from the cameras today.
Enjoy your holiday!

nrhatch - May 26, 2014

My first camera was a box camera . . . with no attachments. My point and shoot digital that fits in my pocket is a bit less bulky.

Grannymar - May 26, 2014

Nancy, your camera sounds very like mine. How the world has changed, take a photo, upload it to the computer and it can go worldwide in minutes, unlike when we were young and had to wait for the roll to be finished before handing it over for processing! I am glad your dad had a hobby to take his mind off the action of his time in Korea.

nrhatch - May 26, 2014

The strides we’ve made in some areas are amazing ~ I remember waiting for the roll to be done, mailing it off, waiting for the prints and keeping my fingers crossed that some of the shots would be worth the wait.

Dad’s focus on photography helped the time go by a bit faster, but he was still happy to head home at the end of his enlistment.

5. ericjbaker - May 26, 2014

I can vouch for the difficulty of learning the Korean language.

nrhatch - May 26, 2014

Do you speak Korean?

I found French and Spanish tough enough ~ but I can order food, wine, and ask for directions to the bathroom.

ericjbaker - May 27, 2014

I speak survival Korean, though even that has probably faded. I took two semesters of it in college, and they were by far the two most difficult courses.

I took Spanish in middle and high school. Sometimes, when I can’t think of the Korean word, its Spanish equivalent will takes its place in the sentence. No, brain. It doesn’t work that way.

nrhatch - May 27, 2014

Haha! Our brains are ever so helpful . . . reaching for data to complete whatever puzzle or perplexity we’re pondering.

“Here, try this.”
“No, I said I need the next piece of the puzzle . . . not peace!”
“Oh, sorry . . . are you sure you can’t make it work?”
“Oh, c’mon. All we are saying is give peace a chance.”
“I’ll be here all week.”

6. jannatwrites - May 27, 2014

I think it’s funny how particular he was about the camera he wanted. I’m glad he finally got the one wanted!

nrhatch - May 27, 2014

I’ve condensed his concerns by about 90%. In great and tedious detail, he outlined (to his dad) what would work, what wouldn’t work, and why he wanted what he wanted.

And in the end, he was “well satisfied.”

7. Three Well Beings - May 29, 2014

I remember thinking that anyone with a dark room in their home was really something! Your dad took his hobby very seriously, I’d say, and I can imagine it was exciting to see the film develop. I really enjoy these posts about your dad, Nancy. He really has the sound of an interesting Renaissance man. He had so many interests! 🙂

nrhatch - May 29, 2014

As a pre-teen, I loved to go into the dark room to help dad develop pictures. Seeing the photographs come to life in the wash, bathed only in yellow light was great ~ like watching a Polaroid print appear before your very eyes.

Once I got a camera with 110 film, it was easier to mail it off than struggle to open the film in the dark.

8. Tokeloshe - June 3, 2014

You must have some wonderful photos.

nrhatch - June 3, 2014

My older brother has most of the photos ~ the ones I have are the ones that were inside the letters he sent home.

9. joannevalentinesimson - June 4, 2014

Finally finding time to read this post of more fascinating writings from your father. And he was right about the Russians!
He also says, “…I did start learning Korean. We have had three classes. Everyone who has had Latin, French, Spanish, or some other European language says that Korean is a lot harder than any they have studied before.” I had the same reaction when I was there. In the book, “Korea, Are You at Peace?” I devote a chapter to the Korean language!

nrhatch - June 4, 2014

Thanks, Joanne. After yesterday’s post on the Chaos of the English language, I’m glad that I’m not in a position of having to master Korean.

joannevalentinesimson - June 4, 2014

I enjoyed that one, too. I had seen it before in written version. The one you posted was a YouTube, spoken version. I’ve saved the link and will listen to that one some time when I’m not about to sign off and make lunch. 😉
BTW, Korean is in a totally different language family, the Ural-Altaic (as opposed to Indo-European), which means that there are VERY few cognates with English. But there are a few, some of the most basic ones, which supports the notion of some “Mother Tongue” way back in the day, when grunts began to turn into words. Just a tidbit for another word-lover.

nrhatch - June 4, 2014

Thanks. I expect that “Coca Cola” translates with ease. 😎

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