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South Texas Living

Reminiscing: Sifting through photos

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Julia Castro
Apple Pie and Salsa
February 1, 2012 | 1,891 views | Post a comment

It was in the news recently -- Eastman Kodak Co. has filed for bankruptcy. The 131-year-old film pioneer and American icon has succumbed to the world of digital photography. It makes me sad. If it weren’t for Kodak, my family would not have so many memorable events captured on film.

When Letty was born, I bought a Kodak Brownie camera. I took so many pictures of her with it. I kept it handy, and every time she did something cute, I snapped a picture of her to send to Henry.

A few months after Henry got to Panama, in one of his daily letters, he wrote to tell me that he had bought a Kodak 35 mm camera. He started taking pictures of his surroundings -- bullfights, fishing excursions, and native beauties on the beach. I wasn’t supposed to get jealous. He said he was just practicing with his camera. At first, all the snapshots were in black and white. Then he started using the Kodachrome film. When he came home, he had not only the camera, but a projector as well, and a lot of color slides. Most of the pictures I have used in my stories were taken with that camera. Once in a while, I take some of those slides and have reprints made from them. The colors are still vibrant on most of them.

Through the years, we have shared these slides with our children so that their kids can view them. In 1987, Henry was still using the same camera. After that, we couldn’t find a battery for it. The projector was a manual one that you had to turn after each slide. Eventually it broke. Several years ago, the kids, prompted by our grandson, Raymond, got together and chipped in to get us a new projector. This one feeds the slides automatically from a carousel.

I am glad that we lived in the era of film so that we can view these images over and over. For Christmas, I gave each of our kids an album and as many pictures of them as I could find. That way each one has his or her own pictures. And it helped me get better organized. There is nothing as nostalgic as sifting through a batch of photos and reminiscing about the events when they were taken.

Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry.

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