All Someone Else's Yesterdays...
As a stroller, not a seller, I was able to observe many things that have heretofore escaped notice. And a number of these observations have set in train essayable thought:
1. There is only so much valuable old material in any one area of the world, whether that material be Leica cameras or Vermeer paintings or old Soviet warheads. Eventually it will all have been sold to the Chinese, or the Dutch, or the Poles. Then the supply will dry up. After that the articles on offer will be Ansco 127 flash cameras, lithographs of Wave Rock in a plastic frame, and Holgas. Who will we find to buy these?
2. Just as there is no Eldorado, Tall Dark Man, or Shangri La, there is no secret stash of mint-condition Leica cameras and lenses that will be offered by a bereaved family eager to sell them for pennies.
3. " You can still get film for it" may be a true statement and may form the basis for a sales offer, but it should be accompanied by the other statements:
" You can get the film from China by writing to them in their native language and paying 18 x the normal freight charges for it to arrive."
" The film will have been made in 1975 as traffic-recording film and will be re-sized and cut to new
" No-one in the metro area will touch it for processing. The metro area extends from Rottnest to the Great Barrier Reef..."
" The film is made in a re-activated factory by re-activated workers. It is like watching a zombie video but each packet costs the price of a steak dinner."
4. If you wish to buy a secondhand tripod, remember that the quick-release plate will be missing and no-one will have another to replace it. Resign yourself to carving a new one from mahogany. It might be wise to purchase an old piano for the wood.
5. The cakes, biscuits, and coffee are really very good. Bugger the cameras - drift down the back of the hall and have breakfast.
6. Yes, that is the person you saw in the shop. No, that is not shop stock.
7. Load thee not the aged software into thy computer lest the viruses contained therein render thy equipment dead. Hope not for a magic grail that will make all thy images winners, for Lo, if the judges thought they were rubbish when they could see them clearly, they are not likely to change their minds when they are obscured by crude filters.
8. Buy a Bolex. Do not hope to run it any time soon, or ever, but buy it for the sheer art of its construction. Make whatever excuse that you need to at home, but have at least one on your shelf to cheer your heart.
9. " Buy a no-name studio flash system in a cardboard box? Pick it up and plug it in? Hold the head in the hand while you fondle the aged wiring and then fire it off? Why, sure! Go right ahead. I'll just be over here behind this solid wood door. "
10. How much for the two books? A dollar? Thank you, I'll take them. ( Sound of scurrying and chortling - in both directions. A successful sale. )