Preserving the Past…and Present

Our children sometimes accused us of being “hoarders”.  That could have something to do with the fact that once a lot of our collections were on display in a home that was only 1700 sq. ft..  Now that these treasures of ours are spread out over 5000 sq. ft. we’ve become “collectors”.

Anne and I just like “stuff” – or objects that interest us, and we like them out where we can see them.  We collect and display assemblages of old woodworking tools, View-Masters, toys, advertising, cups and saucers, musical instruments, analog cameras, and art (drawings, paintings and photographs).  I would say that we like “old stuff”, and we do, but we also appreciate the new and it shows.  Although our house was built in 2009 it looks as though it were built for a gentleman-farmer in 1900.

Bringing me to this topic today was the chore I had this week of dusting off the cameras and the display cases they live in.  What a chore!

antique view cameras

Professional “workhorse” cameras

"Everyman" cameras

“Everyman” cameras

For starters, this 8’ oak and glass case has to be gently slid away from the wall enough to get my 6’ frame behind it.  I love these old cameras that date from the turn-of the previous century to the early 1990’s, but some are small and fragile.  Care is needed for a gentle dusting by a clumsy klutz like me.   Here are some pictures of the cameras.

Giant cameras

Giant cameras

Tiny cameras

Tiny cameras

One of my favorites - Voightlander view camera

One of my favorites – Voightlander view camera

another fav - Agfa roll film camera

another fav – Agfa roll film camera

Ironically, as I was posting these pictures I was notified that our Facebook friend and absolute favorite art photographer, Keith Carter, was now going to be on Instagram. Hurray!  We learned about Carter back in the late 80’s when the Houston Chronicle’s Zest magazine featured his then new book Uncertain to Blue.

Our Keith Carter books on the second floor

Our Keith Carter books are on the second floor landing

It was love at first site with his photographs reflecting small town rural scenes from our past.  His style changes through the years as he keeps exploring and presenting the visual world around him. And although it changes it never fails to move and please me.  His latest work, To Build an Ark,  is really a change – the photographs are in color!  If you don’t know of Keith Carter but appreciate photography as art – do yourself a favor and look him up.

Our two prized images by Keith Carter

Our two prized images by Keith Carter

To finish off this little piece about collecting things from the past and present I want to recommend our historical museum to visitors to our area.  The Jasper County Historical Museum on our downtown square is well worth the visit!  Artifacts, books and presentations mainly around East Texas but anything significantly Texans is there for those who enjoy history!

Until next time – enjoy your Spring!  And come see us at La Paz!

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