Monday, July 25, 2011


My word of the week from Andrew — vanishing.

The vanishing farmlands, wetlands, ice caps? Or perhaps the vanishing flora and fauna?

I'm going with more of a personal note — the vanishing of the precious slide films from my childhood. My Dad was a slide film and movie film maniac. Slowing they are vanishing before my eyes. All those childhood memories are turning to clear film. The lack of a decent chemical stabilizing factor of the 1960's Ektachrome film has obliterated a good part my young life on film. I'm madly trying to preserve some slides before they too turn to containers of clear slides. The 8mm movies is another story. I have miles of film. We never made the conversion to VHS, when many were in the early 80's, and now that I want to go digital, it is a costly proposition. 

I can't remember not going on a trip and have to stop for the family photo. Expo '67 in Montreal was all about photographing those wonderful international pavilions - the geodesic dome from the USA, the modern Habitat community and the red tented Ethiopian pavilion still stand out in my memory. Each year my Dad took a photo of my brother and I in front of the birch tree beside the house - getting taller and older with each photo. How many of those survive?

I'm sad that the slides are vanishing. It's not that I look at them often, but knowing they were safely tucked away in the cabinet, built especially to store them, was a comfort. My grainy films take me back to a gentler era. It used to be a big deal when the processed slide and movie films were picked up from the Kodak plant, which luckily was 10 minutes from our house, and we would all sit around in the rec room as a family after dinner to laugh and smile as we relived our moments together. We had a wall to wall screen and blackened all the lights to make it just like a movie theatre, popcorn and all.

Sadly my early personal film record is vanishing, but I will do all I can with the aid of modern technology to preserve, at least some of the slides. Perhaps one day my young nephews will appreciate them.

One of them many long line-ups at Expo '67 in Montreal.

Me at Wasaga Beach 1967.
I still like white sweatshirts at the beach.

My brother,  on a father/son fishing day at the Forks of the Credit.

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