Why Do We Love Photography? A Thirty Somethings Photographic Journey. The early years 1976-1986 Part Four

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Minolta camera 1960s front shotminolta camera caseIn the early 1980s movies such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rambo First Blood, Tron, Mad Max, Tarzan, Escape From New York, Poltergeist, Blade Runner, and Conan were big hits at the box office. When I was not at the movie theater chomping on popcorn or Reeces Pieces enjoying the latest blockbuster cinema sensation, I was spending my time swimming at the local pool, playing pool or video games at the arcade, watching my TV action shows such as Airwolf or Knight Rider, telling ghost stories over a camp fire at the lake, or playing team sports in either basketball, football or soccer. Somewhere in the midst of all those entertainment choices, I still managed to enjoy hearing my parents tell stories about their younger days. One day while doing chores and cleaning around the house, my father opened up some old boxes with his Army uniform from Vietnam along with his medals, black and white combat photos, and the journal he kept of all the things going on around him in those turbulent years of the 1960s and early 1970s.
While opening those boxes, one treasure of the past really stood out. My dad had owned and used a Minolta 35mm camera from the 1960s that was equipped with a flash unit and a leather camera case. Among the many responsibilities my father had in the US Army including Military Police and as a field medic, my father was a journalist and photographer. He wrote down on paper all the things he saw and even more remarkably caught many of the most dramatic images of war on his Minolta 35mm camera. Although that camera was ancient compared to cameras sold at department stores in the early 1980s, it had a magical kind of quality to it that seemed to fascinate a young one’s mind. I dusted that old Minolta off with some Pledge and a towel and further cleaned up its glass parts with Windex. Soon, that relic of a bygone era became my first 35mm camera and I was thrilled to have it. The best part of the deal was…it was free.

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