Magic Drinks

Featured Image -- 3062A Father’s Day Tribute…

ROCHESTER, September 26 — Eastman Kodak Company today announced its intent to stop making and selling slide projectors by June 2004.

“The Kodak slide projector has been a hallmark for quality and ubiquity, used for decades to produce the best in audio visual shows throughout the world,” the company said. “However, in recent years, slide projectors have declined in usage, replaced by alternative projection technologies.”

One of my happiest and most comforting memories of childhood was our family slide shows.  These coveted movie nights which generally took place once a year, consisted of nothing more than three simple ingredients:  a blank wall  in our living room, a Kodak carousel slide projector with my father at the mast and myself and three sisters,  huddled on the sofa,  pressed together in anticipation like peas in a pod.  My mother, who had seen the slide shows too many times to mention, usually busied herself with other things, occasionally stopping in to comment on a particularly beloved picture.  Prior to turning off the lights, my father would announce in a deep theatrical voice “Who wants a magic drink?”

They were always different in taste and made from whatever struck his fancy that night; orange juice with a splash of pineapple juice and Grenadine or perhaps apple juice and ginger ale with a jigger of seltzer.  The ingredients were unimportant.  It was the anticipation of what was to be and the lovely ritual of our movie night routine that we cherished.  Those magic drinks were just part of the show.

There was always one slide, without fail, that was turned upside down. This would halt the show momentarily, as my father with a slightly frustrated “tsk” would right the renegade slide. And we were ready to go once again.

I loved that Kodak carousel projector and the faded yellow boxes of slides stacked beside it. They were never labeled so each reel was a surprise in itself.  Who might appear on the screen that night was anyone’s guess — my six or sixteen year old self?  Our first family pet Bubbles the beagle, or our gentle giant of a Great Dane we called Jenny?  My mother posing on the beach in her youth, or proudly cradling her first grandchild? The lack of chronology only added to the experience.

Some days, in the quiet of my mind, I can still hear the slow deliberate click of the projector, advancing slowly, telling without words the story of our life.  Slide to slide, toddler to teenager, mother to grandmother, youth to twilight.  An entire lifetime displayed on the wall of the darkened living room.

When my parents died, I cared about no other of their possessions albeit that time warped machine that could somehow transform me back to family vacations, birthday parties and people and places no more.  With my sister’s blessings, I brought it to my own home with the promise to bring it to family gatherings, a carousal reunion of sort.  Though it is yet to be.  It sits up on a shelf in an unused room.  I have taken it down one or two times in a half -hearted attempt to have my own family slide show but then, as it spits and jams due to age, return it in frustration to the loneliness of the upstairs closet.  I have made myself a promise. I will find a way to restore that Kodak Carousel to the beauty of its youth.  And I will mix once again, those magic drinks..kodak

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The Ferris Wheel

“The first lights of the evening were springing into pale existence. The Ferris wheel, pricked out now in lights, revolved leisurely through the dusk; a few empty cars of the roller coaster rattled overhead.”    F. Scott Fitgerald

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Weston Memorial Day Fair, May 28, 2017

Weekly photo challenge “Name”

Gloria

I spotted this abandoned boat yesterday morning, moored on a small creek in Westport, CT.  A name displayed on the bow was carefully written in simple block letters…GLORIA.  Captivating in its stillness with not a soul in sight, it instilled a feeling of both peace and melancholy.   Returning home I researched to discover the boat was owned by a gentleman who lived his entire life in Westport and worked as an oyster fisherman aboard the vessel. The boat was both his work and home, when weather permitted.  “Gloria” was the name of an old girlfriend who clearly left a mark on his heart.  He passed away recently yet the barge remains, a testament to earlier days and a time long gone.  This past Christmas, an unknown angel strung festive lights on the boat in memory of the late fisherman. It must have been a beautiful sight. I wonder if Gloria ever knew she was his muse?img_2682

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Letters to the Tooth Fairy

tooth fairyI have two sons whose personalities are as different as the seasons.  The younger at age fourteen, is tow-haired, blue-eyed, sensitive,  free-spirited, emotional, empathetic and kind. The elder, at sixteen, is dark in coloring, taciturn,  responsible, diplomatic, witty and charming.  The younger enjoys exotic and spicy cuisine – the elder prefers a more conventional menu.  I can’t think of anything I did differently in raising them, so chalk their differences up to genetics.  Recently, while cleaning out a toy closet,  I came across two letters both penned by my sons and more interestingly, both addressed to the tooth fairy.  In between the lines of their childish scrawl written so many moons ago, their personalities once again are evident.  One airs on the side of sentimental, the other strictly capitalist in tone.  Can you guess who is who?

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WordPress Daily Post – Look Up

“Sometimes,  if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known”

Winnie the Pooh

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View from the Delaware Memorial Bridge July 2016

 

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WPC – “Spare” – The Lonely Sweater

Spare (Defined) “Not currently in use; in reserve”

Glancing in the window of a recently closed children’s consignment shop, I spotted this tiny, orange sweater hanging forlornly in the now abandoned store front.  I pondered why this one vibrant item adorned with teddy bears, remained.  Perhaps a testament to a dream that was not to be or more simply that the sweater was left in haste?  I like to interpret it as a statement of fortitude left behind from the proprietor.   A symbol that whatever the future brings, he or she will survive.     I shall leave the interpretation to you gentle readers, but this melancholy image brought to mind the word spare for this week’s challenge.   

sweater

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WPC – “Landscape”

 “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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Central Park at Dusk

 

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