Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo finish

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that back in the '70s, when I was in junior high, I was a complete geek. I'm reminded of my ridiculous polyester clothing, and the way-too-tight perm my mom gave me that made me look like the sixth Jackson.

That decade wasn't kind to most people. We all looked like we needed a decent haircut, a shower and a reminder of Fashion Don'ts.

I found refuge from humiliation in general and comments about my perm in particular in the junior high school's darkroom. It was the perfect place to soften the glare of just how big a geek I was, and developing black and white photos was a magical process.

That darkroom had a timer just like the one that's now on my kitchen wall.

Oh, so evocative - the clock face that glows in the dark, the gentle hum as the long and short hands make their way home, the unnerving alarm that must have been the prototype for the sound that was produced when contestants got answers wrong on every cheesy '70s game show...

And now we'll use this as our kitchen timer.

Instead of breathing in the toxic fumes of darkroom chemicals, we'll be imbued with the scents of dinner cooking in the oven.

My sister found this fabulous darkroom timer at the bins, and it must have cost her about a buck. And she chose to give it to me! Unlike the veiled animosity and adolescent discomfort that defined our 1970s experience, my sister and I inch closer to a functional sisterhood.

And we've learned to hide our inner geek pretty well, but there are subtle reminders that those traits are relatively close to the surface.

Reference the darkroom timer on my kitchen wall.


  1. That is too cool. I took several photography classes in college. I wish that I had a place to put in my own darkroom.

  2. Good to know there are other photography folks out there!!

  3. You're a lucky duck to have that. Flashbacks to The Mirror and Mr. Morimoto and The Greeley Tribune and more...

  4. you got me inspired to revisit the blog i started in 2006. it has 3 posts. but now i have added my geek item: