The last post about my going back to film cameras has a sequel. The camera I mentioned was a 1950 vintage Kershaw. Single speed, two apertures. Pretty basic. Well I had put in a new film and went into town. It was a bright day and I thought just the right light conditions for the camera. I was in a clothing shop. My friend was trying on clothes. As I waited, standing there, holding my camera just as I have shown in the picture, a man who was also waiting for his wife to emerge from the fitting room suddenly stood up. “Excuse me, he said, Is that a Kershaw”? Just like that! I was stunned but I smiled widely and said “good man”! The men went on, as he sat down, “you know I bought one in Malta in 1957”. He said he was stationed in Malta and this was the first camera he had bought. He still had it. My smile and astonishment grew wider. I said I got the camera from my late dear friend Bernie Smith who was also stationed in Malta at that time. We looked at each other like two insanely happy boys. The man’s wife came out and he says “look dear, this is the same as my camera”. She recognised it also. My friend comes out and we all four had a moment of reminiscence and off they walked away, never to be seen again.
What a chance encounter? And for him to recognise the exact camera from the way I was holding it? It was not even open. The man knew exactly where the hidden button was, to open the camera out.
Life consists of such simple pleasures. The old cameras come with such delightful tales attached to them. I used to own a Nikon F which had been in the Vietnam war. It had been beaten and battered and the brass was showing through but it still was a sturdy war horse. As someone said you could hit a nail in with it. I sadly got rid of it to get a more modern version. By comparison the cameras we have now are just functional disposables.
But then again, my Kershaw could not post a photo of itself on this post however it tried. You do not have to reject the modern, to have a fondness for the old. That is the difference between a Luddite and a practical man.