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August 2019
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Princeton Christmas, 1965

Princeton Christmas, 1965, originally uploaded by elefanterosado.
(From left: My father, mother, brother and me)

I was born in Princeton, New Jersey on December 8, 1965. This is from a series of photos I call “My Grandfather’s Photo Gallery.” Grandpa preferred to shoot slides, but evidently had a print made of this. The processing is Kodachrome–the good stuff. It’s considered toxic by today’s standards, but in my opinion nothing else even comes close. My grandfather was a prodigious amateur photographer who wielded a German Voigtlander (I inherited one of several) who would accept no substitutions for Kodachrome.

Today it’s tougher than ever to accept no substitutions. As it turns out, Dwayne’s Photo Lab is one of the last remaining processors of Disc and 126 film and the only remaining Kodak certified Kodachrome film processor in the U.S. Otherwise, you have to bundle and trundle off to Europe. This is no small task or thrifty business when you consider today’s steep airmail rates and the discontinuation of surface mail.

My grandfather (if he were alive today) would probably have jumped into his green Ford station wagon and driven all the way from Parsons Beach (in Kennebunk, Maine), to Parsons, Kansas (home of Dwayne’s). He disliked being told that something was discontinued or unavailable, and would have been downright disgusted by the customer service of today’s generation. At restaurants if an item he’d ordered from the menu had been made redundant, he’d scold the waiter or waitress with: “You’re fresh out of everything but excuses.”


Kodachrome all the way, baby. No excuses.