Monday, April 2, 2012

Good times


When my dad died, my mom asked me if there was anything I wanted of his. I wandered around their apartment, looking at things. Yes, it would be nice to have some little memento, but what? Everything just seemed like empty objects, like I would get it home and it would simply add to the clutter.

But this weekend, as I slid a pan of banana bread batter into the over, I realized I already have something to remember him by: this 1950's darkroom timer.

My dad and I started developing photos together when I was in high school. He and my mom had done it quite a bit, years earlier. So, he had all the equipment and he taught me how to do it.

Our photography, and therefore our printmaking, covered a range of subjects. For example, we had quite a few pets, who were always up for having their pictures taken. Or I sometimes went around town and staged wacky photo shoots with my friends. And there was always the option of choosing from the boxes and boxes of negatives taken before I was born. Some of these had never been printed, none of them seemed to be organized, so just rooting through the collection was good fun. Printing them was an added bonus.

These are good memories—my dad and I puttering around together, making pictures down in the basement.

But when my parents moved several years ago, we sold or gave away the darkroom equipment. It had been ages since we'd used it and no one seemed interested in developing photos anymore.

I kept the timer though. I'd always liked how much character it had. Besides, it was red, just the right color for my cute vintage kitchen.

Now it helps me with a new hobby. My dad laughed the first time he saw it in my kitchen. I suppose it seemed out of place to him. But I think it's right at home, marking time as I make cookies and cakes. No, it's not the same but it reminds me of having fun with my dad. I guess it's just a different kind of sweet.

Wren with timer

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