Cameras for a kid

Alan C cole at
Fri Mar 9 12:38:22 EST 2018


Alan C

-----Original Message----- 
From: Larry Colen
Sent: 9 March, 2018 7:03 PM
To: Pentax-Discuss Mail List
Subject: Re: Cameras for a kid

I don't think I've seen a thread in a long time that is so well suited
for giving crusty old farts a chance to pontificate on their experiences
back when they wore kneepants.

Godfrey DiGiorgi wrote:
> I just ordered one copy of that book for me and one copy for a friend as a 
> birthday gift.
> We're both 64 this year: It's important to keep our child's eye. Thanks 
> for posting the link! :-)
> BTW: I learned basic develop and print with the Minolta 16-Ps when I was 
> eight or nine…

I learned the basics of exposure on a Spotmatic II when I was 12. That
summer, when we moved, I took photography in summer school some months
later and my first camera was an Argus C-3. At the end of summer I got
an SRT-101 as my bar-mitzvah present, and a while later Dad and I set up
a darkroom.

> I don't remember what I was reading specifically, but I think it was
the Tom Swift, Jr series. My older brother loved The Hardy Boys, but I
was more into science fiction. The first books I took out from the
Public Library at age seven were "Two for the Stars" and "Have Space
Suit, Will Travel" by Robert Heinlein. I've not returned yet... ;-)

Heh!  In first grade I went through all of the spaceship under the apple
tree books, and when they were exhausted asked Dad to point me to more
stuff like that. The public library had Rocket Ship Galileo, and when I
finished that I found Have spacesuit will travel in the school library.
  It didn't take me long to go through all the Heinlein juveniles and
start in on Asimov, Heinlein etc. in the adult section.

I will say that I sure missed a lot reading Stranger in a Strange Land
when I was ten years old.

I've heard this story, told pretty much the same from two people who
know the girl involved ...

In the late 1960's Astrid, a young girl 13 or 14 years old, who lived in
the East Bay had chosen SiaSL for a book report assignment. The teacher
also asked a bunch of other questions for the students to answer. When
the teacher handed back the reports he asked Astrid to talk to him after

After class, he commented that he noticed her answer to "why did the
author write this book?" was "To make money". "I'm sure you realize that
a lot of people find this book really inspirational, and your answer
seems rather cynical for someone your age. I'm curious why you chose
that answer"

"Oh, that's what he told me."

Knowing how reclusive Heinlein was the teacher was a bit surprised by
this answer and asked how she had asked him.

"On the phone" she replied matter of factly.

Certain that she was making things up he asked her how she had gotten
his number, waiting for the inevitable confession that she was making
things up.

"My dad's phone book", as if it was the obvious answer.

The teacher had had enough of her spinning her yarn further and further
finally started to get hot under the collar and angrily started to
launch into a tirade.  "Astrid Anderson!" he started. Then he stopped,
thought for a second and asked "What's your father's first name?".

Larry Colen  lrc at (postbox on min4est)

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