Some Memories Don’t Need Photos
Picture (no pun intended) a scene from circa 1990. I carried an Olympus Stylus at the time (I still shoot it when I get sentimental) and usually one or two rolls of 24 exposure ISO 200 film. I wasn’t as serious about photography then as I am now, but I always had my camera at the ready.
So I was armed with my trusty Stylus and three rolls of 24 exposure when my buddies Brad, Chris, and I went to NIU’s homecoming. I have some great memories of pre-game festivities, the game itself (we sat in the visitors’ section for giggles), and of a post-game get together. A few drinks and good times were had by all. I burnt through all three rolls of film that day. I shot a couple of keepers but most of them ended up in a shoebox. But what would have been the best shot of the trip occurred on the drive home.
It was about three in the morning when we drove past a house that had been TPed. This was (and still is) the finest job of toilet papering I’ve ever seen. It was a grand undertaking in both scale and style (we’re talking house, hedges, lawn ornaments, and every tree in the front yard were covered). The breeze was just strong enough to blow some of the toilet paper hanging from a tree into the road. Brad slowed down to about five miles an hour drive through it. Chis and I leaned out the passenger windows and were actually able to touch the Charmin softness. Of course I didn’t have any film left to shoot it so I didn’t even bother reaching for my camera.
For a while after that night I regretting not being able to take a shot of that scene, but ultimately it taught me two lessons. One is that no matter how well prepared you are you aren’t going to get every shot. The other (and the more important one to me) is that to truly enjoy a moment with friends it may be best to put the camera down.