Kodak Instamatic 104 – Monday Morning Redemption

Kodak INstamatic 104 outfit box set 1975

My dad’s habit of finding quirky gifts strikes again. A crisp $1 bill got him this nifty Kodak Instamatic 104 Outfit box set at a garage sale. Sweet yellow Kodak box contains an Instamatic camera, unused flash cube, old AAA batteries and box from the last 126 cartridge that expired in May 1975 all stored inside. Now I’ve just got to find a 126 film cartridge to reload and get snapping with this camera!

The surprise gift just sucker-punched this sluggish Monday. It was his original find of a manual Minolta 35mm camera that got me hooked on photography way back in the teenage years. A Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, Agfa folding bellows camera, this Instamatic 104, and a handful of garage sale and auction treasures have been great surprise gifts since then!

Can’t wait to try out some Instamatic 35mm photos!

Monday reminder: go shoot some photos today! -eB

Why I love black and white photos

Remont "Joe" and Eleanor Bucholtz

Why is it I can’t get enough of looking at black and white photos from the early 20th century? These guys. Grandparents. Legends.

Last Sunday my Grandmother Eleanor V. Bucholtz passed away a few weeks after my 30th birthday and a few weeks before her 97th birthday. She was more than ready to meet her Jesus and see her beloved Joe again – the two people she never stopped talking about. Grandpa Remont “Joe” Bucholtz, a US Navy veteran of World War II,  passed away when my dad was just 6, 16 years after the end of the war. Grandma never ran out of stories to tell about him, and I never got tired of looking at old photos with her.

Grandma B -a name that stuck from before us grandkids could all say “Eleanor” or “Bucholtz”- was nothing short of an amazing woman. Friday I went to the hospital to be with her and my parents, aunts & uncles and 2 older cousins that live nearby when the family was notified that she was very near to going home to heaven. Even amidst somber moments reflecting on her life the gathering of family was the same ornery bunch and told the same crazy stories of our times over the years. It was there I realized it most that it had never taken a relative in the hospital to get us all together and talking on good terms; she had helped put so much love and care for each other into our family already.

That love and peace is a legacy and immeasurable inheritance to leave as an example for your family.

We’ll miss Grandma, without question, every time we think of her and tell her stories. She loved hearing about all the places I traveled so she was my pen pal when I traveled Scandinavia, Central America, and southeast Asia. I’m thankful for the 30 years I shared with her and all the time we spent together as a family. I’m grateful she was able to meet my 2 children, too. (My son Adrian even got to help push her “wagon” (wheelchair) for her when he visited.) Lots of her grandkids’ friends had her as an honorary Grandmother. She raised 3 sons and helped to weave a family together with genuine love for each other.

Also notably, she helped to instate the food groups of pirogi and Polish sausage as staple foods at family gatherings. Our matriarch Eleanor is the reason my family with a German last name calls itself Polish in honor of her heritage and various phrases said in Polish. (Mostly ones you’d say under your breath when you want to call someone a name they wouldn’t understand – told you she was ornery!) 😀

In closing, the only obituary she wanted: “Eleanor’s gone.”

If you listen I’m pretty sure heaven’s playing Polka this week to welcome her as we miss her and celebrate her life with us from 1913 to 2010.