Sunday, March 31, 2024


Rear wheel and derailleur of my Mondia, taken with a Pentax ME 35mm SLR.
 One of the reasons I named this blog Spokes of a Wheel is because I find life sometimes is like a spoked bicycle wheel (or more precisely, the typical tangentially spoked wheel, using wire spokes, that cross...but that's not important right now) where parts of our lives intersect, sometimes in unexpected ways.  This post is about one such situation.

In the spring of 2022, my friend Phil's father died, and in the process of dealing with the usual pile of belongings we all leave behind, he came across some old film photography equipment that was his parents'.  He also had several film cameras and lenses of his own that he knew he would never use again, so knowing my penchant for collecting "old, rare things" (he also declared that I fall into that category, and I can't deny it), he contacted me to see if I might be interested in any or all of it.

 I'd actually been doing some film photography on and off over the last 20 years or so, despite primarily shooting digital now, so this was intriguing news.  We met up, both so he could hand off the gear and so we could spend some time taking nature photographs together.  It was a few days before I got a chance to really look at what he'd given me, but it was quite the haul!  I'll probably save the details for another post, but suffice to say it was a significant number of film SLR bodies and lenses, along with other miscellaneous accessories.

Now here's where we come to an intersection of sorts. Another friend and I had reconnected via Facebook some years ago, so I knew he was an avid photographer, and had a fondness for film.  Faced with a pile of cameras, and knowing that realistically I wasn't going to use them all, I reached out to see if he might be interested in any of them, or at least looking at them.  So we arranged to meet for lunch, the first time we'd seen each other since the early 80s.  We had a great time catching up, and my friend Dave was very happy to take the hand-off a few bits of camera gear.

Since then, I've gotten more excited about film photography again, and Dave has been a huge help with advice, and even some hands on time showing me how to process b&w film.  I had been shown many years ago, once by my dad, and again by a high school friend, but it was good to get a refresher from someone who does it all the time.  And as my film gear collection has grown, Dave and I now have a recurring (if sporadic) "show and tell lunch" routine started that is great fun.  

 Now, there's certainly the chance that he and I would have connected in person eventually, but it was the gift of Phil's camera gear that put the pieces in place.  The funny part is, while we all grew up in the same town, and went to the same high school, Phil and Dave don't know each other at all.  But this intersection of the three lives has been a really wonderful new part of my life these last couple of years.