My Mom’s Camera/Time Machine

Here’s a photo of my mom standing in the playground beside 8 Morris Drive—the same playground that contained the big slide shown in the previous post. To the left is part of what was also the biggest see-saw in the neighborhood; and anyone who ever rode it can remember the distinct sound of that seat hitting the asphalt.

Like the previous picture, this one was taken in the summer of 1980 (likely on the very same day), but it’s special to me for another reason. I took it. In fact, as I was 7 years old at the time, it’s probably one of the very first photos I ever shot.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how about the camera that originally took it? I still have it sitting proudly on my desk—my mom’s little Kodak Instamatic 104.

For me, this camera is a virtual time machine. So many of the old photos from my family’s albums—those familiar 3.5-inch square pictures with the rounded corners and the satin finish—were taken with this very camera. It’s safe to say that every photo of me growing up at Steward Manor was taken with it as well.

Even though 126 film is long gone (with the exception of some limited stashes still in circulation), I’ll often pick up this camera and peer into its tiny square viewfinder, recalling the countless, priceless views that have passed through it for all time.


About Richard Friend

I'm a graphic designer and creator of "Lost Laurel"—a collection of photos and print ephemera chronicling the countless stores, restaurants, and other long-lost merchants of Laurel, Maryland. I'm interesting in hearing from any former/current residents, especially those with vintage photos, literature, and recollections of the community.
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