Thursday, February 21, 2008


So little Duggle has his inadequate camera and a contact at the local newspaper.

I took some of my hard earned money from working clean-up at a butcher shop and bought myself a brand new Nikon FE2 and an old scratched up used Nikon 180mm F/2.8 ED lens. Eventually I would add an MD12 motor drive for my "high-school football special" setup. On Friday nights I would go to my assigned high school and shoot the game, returning to the Messenger with a few rolls of film.

My vivid memories of that time are the orange lights of a large darkroom with several people lined up at enlargers. Everybody was smoking, and since the room didn't have a traditional door that opened but instead a revolving door that never let light in or smoke out, the place was filled to the rafters with the musty stench of last week's Marlboros.

Eventually I quit the butcher shop job and upgraded to the camera counter at Montgomery Ward. From there I moved a few stores down in the mall to a Ritz Camera store, all the while feeding my photography habit. I had a good camera, some adequate lenses and a darkroom in my closet at home.

I liked working in the mall, enjoyed my coworkers and felt important when I traveled to different schools to photograph the varied sporting events. I was still in high school, working two jobs and having tons of fun. Things were going great, but a horrible mistake was looming in the future.


(to be continued..)

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