Sunday, July 08, 2007

The '7' Years - Part 1

I saw a couple of movie anniversary announcements that got me thinking about the years I’ve experienced ending in 7.

One of the MANY preview/advertisement items on the Bridge to Terabithia DVD (a recent Dianne pick) was a pitch of this year’s 40th anniversary of the Disney movie The Jungle Book. That was one of the first movies I got hooked on as a kid and a gift I received was a Jungle Book LP record. It had all the wonderful songs and some movie dialog. I played that so many times the grooves must have worn out. I’m sure everyone was sick of hearing ‘Colonel Hathi’s March’ and ‘The Bare Necessities.’ Incidentally, I also heard it’s the 40th anniversary of the movie The Dirty Dozen. Although I didn’t see that as a kid, it’s a great film and one in our eclectic DVD collection.

In 1977 I got my very own 35 mm camera and first used it on a summer trip with my dad. I had played with old 35 mm cameras we had around the house. They were OK, but it was tough getting pictures without a light meter, guessing the exposure. With some reading and some advice from my dad, a photographer friend, and a neighbor interested in photography, I ended up getting a Minolta XE-7. See more photos of the camera at this site. Shortly after getting the camera, my dad took a few days off and we did a driving trip with many stops on the way. We drove to Duluth, along the coast of Lake Superior, across the edge of the Boundary Waters to Ely (oh man was that #1 a windy road cut through the forest!), and then down through the red soil region of the Minnesota iron range. On that trip, I finished up one of my first rolls of film and forgot to press the rewind release before cranking the exposed film back into the canister. I thought sure I broke something. My dad found a photo store and the clerk quickly diagnosed the problem, popped the camera in a black bag, and saved the exposed film. The camera was fine. That thing is built like a tank (and weighs about the same). I took thousands of photos (especially for the high school paper) with that camera and still have it.

That year was also big in Little Falls as it was the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic. A lot of activities went on including a visit from a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis. I remember watching much of the airport festivities from the roof of the small terminal building – access arranged by my dad. It was quite the event.

More about the later '7' years in my next post.


Josh Lane said...


Sorry for the late comment. I'm behind on my blog reading.

That's a great road trip. A couple of years ago, had the pleasure of doing much of the same to attend the Beargrease Dog Sled Marathon. Bet you found plenty of engaging material.

Can also relate to the "rewind" story. I, too, opened multiple film cameras before rewinding. Ah, the old days...

Been enjoying your "7 years" posts.

Earl said...

Josh -- thanks for stopping by and commenting! Now that I've gone digital, I haven't touched film for several years. If I picked up that camera today, I'd probably make the same mistake again with the first roll.