Sunday, April 11, 2010

Myrtle's New Camera

Stew Callaway, taken by his Wife Myrtle outside the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Cloverdale

82 year old Myrtle Callaway lives with her 84 year old husband Stew in the bungalows near the Clover River Bridge. Over the past sixty years Myrtle spent a fortune on film for her cameras. And every one of those sixty years Myrtle lost a fortune on developing pictures that showed everything from the lens cover to half heads to sidwalks to overexposed and under exposed snapshots to close ups of noses, eyes, beards, toes, etc. You name it and she tried to get a picture of it. Her good picture success rate was the worst in the village according to the One Hour Photo Lab technicians at the Piggly Wiggly.

Last week Myrtle was shopping for this and that (actually just an excuse to get away from Stew. They have a good marriage but Myrtle needs time without him dragging behind on her heels) when she stumbled into the camera department.
"What are these?" she asked the assistant at the cash register.
"Digital cameras," was his reply.
"What's the difference between these and my old camera?" Myrtle asked.
"These don't use film," he answered.

You could of knocked Myrtle over with a feather. "No Film!" she shouted. "Show me."
One hour later Myrtle was writing a check at the check out stand. She was the proud owner of a new Fuji Digital Camera. She could take all the lousy pictures she wanted and not have to pay a penny for them. If she didn't like a shot she could push the ...... ah...... um........ well she'd forgotten already but she knew there was some way to delete them.

Myrtle was free to take pictures again and not worry about the expense of developing film and the being the object of the Piggly Wiggly's photo lab employees whispering, strange looks, and giggling. Of couse she'd forgotten everything the Donaldson's sales clerk taught her about the camera by the time she got home but it didn't matter. She could take as many pictures as she wanted and not worry about the cost of developing.

Of course, that strategy worked until the camera's screen told her the memory card was full. She tried to read through the directions in the instructional book but it was all Greek to her. Necessity, and a desire to take pictures, motivated her to pay an unusual visit to the Senior Citizen's Center. Myrtle doesn't get along well with the members of "The Lady's Guild" at the Center. Their conservative politics is more than her liberal upbringing can tolerate, so she stays away and keeps to herself caring for Stew and enjoying long talks over tea with her wonderful neighbors. But the Senior Center offers a special service she was in desperate need of. Every Saturday afternoon two teenagers from the Comprehensive School come to the Center to help the old age pensioners with their electronic devices (computers, cameras, Tivo's, dvd layers, tape players, microwave ovens and food blenders). Myrtle swallowed her pride and drove to the Center to ask for help. Myrtle returned two hours later understanding her camera a bit better.

Today is Sunday. Myrtle put her new technical knowledge to the test. She took the camera to church with her. On the way home from services she took it out and snapped pictures of the tulips along the Church's sidewalk. She did well. Of the 23 snapshots taken she ended up with 12 pictures of tulip stems, four of the blossoms and seven of the people's shoes who happened to be walking by at the time.

Before getting into the car she took the camera out to get photo of Stew. She positioned the camera just right, told Stew to freeze and snapped the picture. She took one look at it and said,
"That will do Stew, That will do." Myrtle got half his face. The best snapshot she'd ever taken of her husband.

They drove home together, enjoyed a lunch of sausages and mash, and watched an afternoon of Cloverdale Weekend Television. At 8:00 P.M. they'll both be asleep in their chairs and remain that way until one of them wakes up and gets them both into bed.

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