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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Broken Camera

The Broken Camera 03 10 2010

When I was a boy we had a Kodak Instamatic camera we used to sparingly take pictures with on vacations. It took rolls of film that were expensive to us.

A bully at school, we’ll call him Beasil, got one of those new slim Kodak cameras for his birthday. It was better because it took a cartridge of film and you didn’t have to worry about ruining the whole roll of film from exposure because it was always mostly in the cartridge.

I thought I could take pictures. I had to have one too, so I got one also, a Kodak but one model number better than his. I think mine had a flash that used batteries and slid on the end of it.

James Bond movies were a big draw to us in the 70’s and we all thought we were international spies with our small rectangular Minox shaped cameras. Minox was the spy camera James Bond used to take pictures of intelligence documents in the nick of time and to the evasion of capture.

I showed mine to Beasil one day at school and he fumbled around with it for awhile and either he dropped it or I was so nervous about letting him look and breaking that I accidently dropped it when I got it back. Something was loose inside it and it did not work anymore. I could never tell my parents and when I did I got bawling out good that lingered for a long time.

I was always under the impression that I could fix it myself. Because I am a fix it myself type of person and have always had that ability. But I took it apart and two springs sprang out every which way and I could not put it back together. So in pieces I put it in a shoebox and stored it on a shelf in my bedroom closet. Every so often I would grab that box while cleaning the closet and here the parts rattling around inside open the lid look inside and quickly close it again. It sat in that box until I was 39 years old and with much apprehension regarding photography bought a Cannon digital camera. No expensive film to worry about and a good strong lense.

After my brief 29 year learning through angst hiatus from photography I started taking pictures again and was told that I have photographic talent. And everybody does indeed love my pictures.

My third Camera is a Cannon Rebel XSI and I have three nice lenses that interchange with its body.

And that Beasil who allegedly dropped my first camera is a photographer for a major department store.

Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy

Originally Published on 03 10 2010 at

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