Sunday, October 30, 2005
Just thought I'd set the mood for this Halloween weekend by sharing some ancient Lenka history with you. Let's see...I've got Love and Rockets' first album on, a stick of Nag Champa burning in the incense bowl, and steel-cut oatmeal cooking on the stove while I sip my Sunday morning coffee. There's a pot of gunpowder green tea steeping, too, for later - after the caffeine kicks in. I take my blogging atmospherics seriously.
Above is an old photo from my archives (full-size 90kb version here), taken in 1980 when I was but a wee slip of a protoblogger, hot and heavy into my first forays* into photography. I was so proud of the second-hand Hanimex SLR camera and accessories my parents had bought me earlier in the year (for my 12th birthday, likely. My memory's not clear on that point.) and lugged it with me almost everywhere we went. This shot was taken from the back seat of our old 1966 Chevy Nova II Super Sport** on one of my family's traditional weekend flea market trips to Bucks County, Pennsylvania near New Hope and Yardley. You understand, I do come by my love of
I'm not certain where this old church and graveyard were any more, but I recall being struck by the eerie scene complete with toppled 18th-century headstones. Even back then, I loved a nice, creepy, moody image. I had walked around the graveyard a few minutes before, noted the ages and names of those early Pennsylvania settlers buried on a quiet rural hillside, and thought how strange it would be to have your body ensconced for all eternity next to an obscure Colonial church - having with some kid with a camera stomping all over your final resting place.
No, I probably didn't think all that back then. I probably just thought the whole scene was really neat, just peachy keen.
Notice the interesting accidental effect created by the windscreen tinting that looks sort of like a sky shading filter on this black and white stock. Back then I didn't use any of that coarse grained "fast" film, no sirree...only the fine-grained 32 or 64 ASA-speed stuff like my dad used, the kind you had to stand perfectly still and hold your breath for with that heavy handheld SLR that felt like a brick to my young hands. I finally had these old black and white film strips digitized last year, so periodically I'll be trotting out some dusty recollection for you, embellished by the intervening quarter century's worth of nostalgia. Oh, and the title of this post? It's the song that's playing right now:
The word that would best describe this feelingHappy Halloween.
Would be haunted
I touch the clothes you left behind
That still retain your shape
And I'm still haunted
I trace the outline of your eyes
Blue in the mirror
Hypnotized and haunted
I find a solitary hair
Golden still I reminisce
---"Haunted When the Minutes Drag," © Daniel Ash & Love and Rockets
* Not quite true. I had a couple of small 110/126-Instamatic™ film snapshot cameras before that, when I was about 7 or 8, and took pictures of everything. Those color slides are still in my father's collection somewhere.
** Speaking of 1980 and Chevy, anyone else out there remember the TV jungle for the Citation, "the first...Chevy of the Eighties!" Seriously, Citation? Would someone today actually name a car after a word that means "moving violation ticket"?