That day—Monday, May 3, 1999—presented a bit of bad luck that turned into good luck. I see in my journal that my train was late arriving in the town of Crewe, where I was going to catch another train that would take me west into Wales. I learned at the station that I would have to wait an hour for the next one.
|Arrow points to town of Crewe|
So (says my journal) I wandered around for a bit in Crewe (in the English midlands—population about 65,000), sightseeing and looking for a photo shop where I could get some 35mm slide film. These—the days before I tried PowerPoint—I was still using my Carousel slide projector for the public presentations I did. So I was disappointed when the only place I found that even sold film had print film only. I knew (then) that this would mean I would have to take the prints to KSK Color Lab in Solon, Ohio (not far from our home) to pay to have them converted into slides. Money I didn’t want to spend.
Anyway, here’s what I recorded in my journal that day after I finally got aboard my train:
Rats: My train was late into Crewe, & I have had to wait here an hour for the next connection. I took a little walk out into this small city (in my search for slide film), but most places were closed, and the one pharmacy where I did stop had only print film. Crewe seems very working class—brick row houses left & right as I looked down side streets. One strange shop for this town: a violin-repair place, quite sizable (and closed), w/ many instruments hanging in the display windows. A great old bulky brick hotel, too, just across the street from the station, w/ pub attached: the kind of place I wish I’d find on my other excursions when I am spending the night.
Well, later, learning more about Crewe, I realized the folly of my inferences—inferences drawn from a short walk around the part of the town near the rail station. There are art galleries, museums, a branch of an English university, the Lyceum Theatre … I could go on and on. But you get the idea: The doofus who detrained there for a bit drew some naïve conclusions about what he was looking at. I became, for the nonce, the stereotypical Ugly American.
Anyway, I bought the film, and when I got to Tremadoc (Wales) later in the day, I fired away with it, using up the entire roll very quickly. And promptly forgot all about it.
Till this morning.
I knew (this morning) that I was going to get back to the story of my visit to the small Welsh town where Bysshe Shelley was nearly assassinated in 1813. (I have just escaped an atrocious assassination, he wrote to his publisher-friend Thomas Hookham on February 27. Oh send the 20£ if you have it, he added—you will perhaps hear of me no more.
This morning I thought I was going to have to use Google Images to post on my blog to show readers what I saw that May day sixteen years ago: I’d forgotten that I’d shot print film that day and had no memory of converting slides into digital images (which I’ve done for quite a few of the pictures I took on that 1999 journey).
But this morning—I know: I am very slow at getting to the point!—I wondered if I had in my Shelley files a folder on Tremadoc. I looked. I did. And inside that folder … the package of Kodak prints I’d taken that day.
Need I say that I was pleased? And would soon be employing our scanner?
|prints I found this morning!|