Sunday, March 18, 2012


So a small but dedicated band of parishioners have taken it upon themselves to put the parish archives in order.  It's all there.  There just no systematic way to get at it all.  And there is a LOT of junk in the room.  When there was no place else to put STUFF that nobody wanted to be responsible for throwing away, it was placed in this room.

They've been working on it for months now and have found some pretty amazing things.  They have also found TONS of pictures of people about whom we have no idea who they are or what they are doing.  Rule no. 1:  If you are going to take pictures, make note somewhere of these things so that people in the future can have a clue as to why they are holding on to them.  Perhaps one day we will put them out in the church and see if people can help us out.

I was called downstairs to consult on a couple of items when one of the volunteer archivists pointed to a mysterious black box sitting high on a shelf out of every one's reach.

I pulled a chair into the room, climbed up on it and retrieved the mysterious, now we know plastic, black box.
I pressed a little black button on the side and . . .

It was an old fashion Polaroid Camera!  (It seems weird to call it old fashioned - it is a sign that I am getting older that things that I grew up are now antiques.)  It must be this rascal that is responsible for those boxes and boxes of pictures.  We know that the thing has been unused since I've been at St. Sebastian and who knows how long before that.  I imagined that the batteries were long since dead and that there was no film and now, digital being all the rage, I doubt film can even be found for it.  So what was to be done with it?  (Anybody out there need one?)

Now that the mystery was over I tried closing the thing back up.  Easier said than done.

Turns out that the battery was not dead - and apparently there was still film in it.  What a waist of some of the very last Polaroid film available in the world.  So back to trying to close the thing again.

At this point I handed it to an adult to close.  I was clearly not technologically savvy enough to handle the job.  But clearly recognizing that this archaic piece of technology was a dangerous instrument to place in the hands of untrained personnel, we placed it back on the shelf.


Pat said...

My Uncle Donald had one in the mid-1950s. We kids were used to waiting interminably (probably a week) for the photos from our camera to return from the drug store. What a wonder to see one of Uncle Donald's photos develop right in front of our eyes.

Trevor said...

Just think Father, "back in the day" you would have posted those pictures on a bulletin board in the hallway and get a few laughs from the office staff, but now you can make the whole world smile through a few clicks of a "mouse"!

Jennifer Fitz said...

Funny story:

In the early '90's I was sitting with my grandmother's aunt as she was showing me the family albums. She was herself in her early '90's then. She was pointing out and naming everyone until she got back to somewhere in the late 1800's. Then she started just flipping fast. "Who's that, Aunt Helen?" I asked her.

Her honest answer, verbatim: "I don't know. Dead people."

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making me laugh, Father! Reading Adam's Ale is a bright spot in my day.