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Memories of Battle Creek

August 22, 2010

Back when I was a kid, I recall ordering things from the back of a cereal box. Back in those days, you could safely put a dollar bill into an envelope and have it safely delivered and then processed at the destination, which was usually Battle Creek, Michigan. Oh I had visions of Battle Creek, a magical place where a chignoned and bespectacled middle aged lady would lovingly handle your dollar bill, then carefully select your special offer toy, pack it up lovingly and then ship it off to destination. Things are so much different now. Your dollar bill would be lucky to endure transit through the postal system, and even then, could be ripped by unsavory employees.

I recall one of those special offer toys – it was a red plastic race car with a transmission powered by a rubber band. Money was at a premium when I was growing up and it was a real treat when my parents decided to spring the 35 cents at the time to get it.  Back in 1960, 35 cents could buy you a meal. I remember the day the little car came. My uncle was over that day and he helped me read the instructions. He discovered the car was also an amphibious vehicle, and he quickly went to put some water into the bathtub. We had a ball with that little thing, and even used to take it over to the wading pool at the local park.

Those were simpler days. Now with credit cards and online ordering, things just seem so impersonal.  Yes there is the one camera vendor who knows the sound of my voice when I call. Everything is neatly wrapped up into their computer file, I just tell them what I need and we’re done. But the mystery is gone, the angst of waiting “4 to 6 weeks for the order to be processed.” I placed my most recent camera accessory order on Thursday, and things arrived on Saturday. Hardly even a wait.

So what was in the order? Well a new 89B infrared filter, a few goodies for the Leica, and a new neutral density gradient filter. My 89B was lost long ago, my old ND grad was so banged up it was almost to the point of it not being useful anymore. While there is pleasure in receiving the goods, the mystery is gone. It still was a little bit of a thrill to get the stuff because they’re things I don’t normally use in my work. It will be mostly used for creative sprees, something I’m longing to get back to. Have to get into gear with the infrared though, because before you know it , summer will be gone and the leaves will be off the trees.


One Comment
  1. Michael Brown permalink
    August 23, 2010 12:04 pm

    I remember saving up nickels to order a little machine gun which fired BBs. Gazing at those ads in comic books which sold X-ray glasses, and prank gags such as dribble glasses and fake dog poop and itching powder.

    It’s fun to order 3D things from Renderosity and DAZ and get them immediately, but do they have fake poop and BB machine guns? I think not.

    Enjoy your new equipment!

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