“It is not always possible to know why people act the way they do, but I can guarantee that you will feel better if you give people the benefit of the doubt more often than not. When in doubt, be kind. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind.” ~ Renée Suzanne⠀
A giant box was waiting on my porch last night when I got home from work. I hadn’t ordered anything so I thought the mail had made a mistake. Then I saw my name, and the return address of one John Allen Berry. I’d heard a rumor he was mailing something to me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a first generation Mamiya M645 (circa 1975) with two lenses and several filters. I had to sit down. I have wanted a real (as opposed to plastic) medium format camera since, well, probably 1975. Somewhere in this mess of a house (I haven’t put it back together since the remodel) is a box of 120 film. As soon as I finish my class, I’m turning this place upside down for that film and I’m going out shooting. I’m still nearly speechless so I’ll let Allen tell you about the camera that belonged to his beloved father so you can see why this gift is so special.
“Dad was a jack of all trades. He was a builder, scholar, artist, theologian, businessman. The list goes on. | He was a Western Auto Dealer from well before I came on the scene until I was a Junior in High School. Wal-Mart came in and all the local hardware stores started to dry up. We held on the longest. He went back to school at 40 to become a chiropractor. | When I was a kid, he would carve me toy guns out of wood. I’d grew up holding the flashlight and handing him tools. This started when I was a toddler, sitting on his chest as he worked under the dash of his 68 Buick, installing a radio. 🙂 I was lighter then. 😉 | He was the family photographer when sis and I were little. He took scads of photos with his Polaroid Land Camera. Then later with a Minolta 35 MM. | He told me all sorts of things about composition and lighting, most of it, unfortunately, didn’t stick. But he got me my first Minolta, and my first two digital cameras. | I didn’t quite get the bug like he did, but every once in a while I’ll get the notion and go shoot some pics. | I spent most of my Saturdays and summers working with him on various projects. Sometimes it was putting up a Ham Radio Antenna, sometimes it was building a 1 dimensional Christmas Tree with Bubble Lights and wrapped in garland to go over the fireplace. | There was pretty much nothing he couldn’t conceive of or build. 🙂 Dad was a renaissance man. If I ever make it to a 1/4 the man he was, I’ll be more than happy. 🙂”
Honored doesn’t begin to describe how I feel. My heart is full.