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Safe Zone

When I was just a kid, maybe 4 or 5 years old, my mother would go to bingo at the local church hall most Friday nights. She would leave me in the care of a neighbor down the street, an older woman named Mrs. Cannon. Mrs. Cannon had an older son named Joey, in his teens back then, and an Olympic class ballbreaker!

In their railroad style house, the bathroom was up on the second floor, so when you had to go, up you went. One night, Mrs. Cannon dozed off in her chair, her feet up in front of her TV set. Joey went upstairs to his room, leaving me on my own to watch TV. Soon enough, I had to pee, so I began walking up the stairs. Joey suddenly turned off the light, plunging the stairs in darkness, and began splashing water in the bathroom as he growled in what must have been a very effective take on the Creature from the Black Lagoon, scaring the shit out of me.

I backed quickly down the stairs and ran into the kitchen, where I pulled a chair to the sink, stood on the chair and peed in the sink! If anything happened, I knew I could yell loud enough to wake Mrs. Cannon if need be.

I’ll never forget that feeling of relief when my mother arrived to take me home that night, the calm assurance that things would now be back to normal, that I’d be safe in my home again.

Today’s inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris reminded me of that feeling of safety again, that responsible, reasonable adults were back in charge and things were going to get better.

There are those who will disagree with me, as is their right to do, and I have no problem with that. I speak for myself and my own feelings here, and those who wish to leave are certainly free to do so. No arguments, no hard feelings.

On another topic altogether, I came across this entry in the weekly newsletter I receive from B&H Photo in NYC, and I had to shake my head. C’mon, where was this stuff when I was shooting film all those years before I grudgingly made the switch to digital gear?

My B&W film of choice back then was Kodak’s Tri-X Pan, whose ISO (ASA back then) speed was 400, offering a lot of exposure latitude. Functional for sure, but as cool as a film named Dracula? Aw, hell no! Of course, with film having a silver content as it does, it wouldn’t be able to capture an image of its namesake, but… cool, nonetheless.

Oh, I almost forgot the punch line to the above story! Remember Joey, he who terrorized me way back then? He went on to join the police department, eventually walking a beat in our neighborhood. Maybe the sequel film should have been called “The Creature Walks A Beat Among Us”.

Sleep well. Tonight, I know I will.

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