There was only one time when I saw snow on my doorstep here in California and that was when I was a boy — 40 to 45 years ago. It came down in the afternoon and didn’t last the half hour. I have often gone to the snow here in California, but I have not since that day opened the door of my house to it.
Needless to say, this photo is not from California. It dates from the time when I lived in North Carolina. The year was 1984. I was studying English Literature at the University of North Carolina, a pursuit I followed until the cash of a modest inheritance ran out. I had this professor, Mark Reed, who was known for his sternness. On the day that I took this, I toyed for but a moment with the idea of skipping his class that day. He probably wouldn’t be there, I thought, so the drive to Chapel Hill would be in vain.
But then I remembered who I was dealing with. This was Professor Reed. He would be there. So I skied in my 1962 Volkswagen bug the I-can’t-remember-how-many slushy miles between Durham and Chapel Hill. I rushed into the classroom on the dot and right behind me was, as I had predicted, Professor Reed.
When I wasn’t reading Wordsworth and Keats, I had a second pursuit. That was taking photos with my instant camera from Kodak, the Champ Kodamatic. Kodak ran into problems obtaining the necessary patent rights from Polaroid, so they dropped production and support. Camera owners filed a successful class action suit, so Kodak was forced to give them gift certificates in exchange for the lost hours of pleasure using the camera.
Perhaps I will write a longer article about this forgotten shadow catcher?
- * * *
Just wanted to end this with a Merry Christmas. As I said, we don’t get snow for Christmas in my part of California. The weather was warm and windy today. What marks the season is the appearance of the red berries called Toyon or Christmas Berries. You can see a picture of them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notfrisco/5257102476/
They are also known as “hollywood”. Yes, they grow around the famous sign in Los Angeles.
- * * *
To all, the peace of the season. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, Happy Hannukkah and Happy Kwanza to the rest. And to my atheist friends, may you find a really good book and enjoy it while others pursue the feasts and the dances of the Yuletide.
written by emperornorton on 2011-12-25