Reminiscing, part 3

I’m still peeking at old photos and reminiscing about the past. (You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.) I plan to wrap this up today so I can get other jobs done.

Pictures are time machines that can whisk us immediately to earlier times. I have photos of my childhood that includes people no longer here. It’s good to remember lost loved ones. I also have past photos of stuff.

frog in a pond
Frog in a pond. Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

Stuff that caught my attention.

leaves in a pond
Leaves in a pond. Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

The more interesting and unusual they were, the more I was prone to trying to capture it on film.

ladybug 1 photo
Ladybug 1. Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

This led to lens filters and macro lenses and many interesting photos.

ladybug 2 photo
Ladybug 2. Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

Experiments. That’s what photography was for me, no matter what I shot. Even during childhood, I always experimented with my cameras and film. Those what-if -I-do-it-different moments led to even more interesting outcomes. This followed me to art college and beyond.

dancer’s dream photo
“Dancer’s Dream.” Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

Then came digital photography.

fire dancers photo
“Fire Dancers.” Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

Digital photography is so easily manipulative.

fire fae photo
“Fire Fae.” Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

Looking at my experimental photos reminds me of my forte into music when I was young. I enjoyed experimental music back then. The weirder, the better. My younger brother’s favorite music was heavy, hard, crashing, wild, and untamed at times. Raw. Energetic. Heavy metal. Thundering. I wonder what that sounded like outside our bedrooms. We must have driven our parents crazy.

I liked some of my brother’s music. Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” always got me rocking.

If we could go back in time to the summer after I’d graduated 11th grade, you’d find me liking more of the heavier music. My friends and I were too old to play Little League and Pony League baseball, so we started up our own sandlot team. All we needed was a pitcher, a first baseman, someone at shortstop and second base, and two outfielders. Right field was forever an automatic out to whoever hit the ball there, and any foul ball hit after two strikes was an out.

We played our games to the sounds of a radio blaring at level eleven behind the catcher. My teammates liked an FM station called WMDI, out of McKean, Pennsylvania. The station played entire LPs. Both sides. And twice as many if they were double LPs. From that tiny station, we heard artists and bands no other local stations were playing. Most of the music was from the UK: Yes, Cream, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep—the list is huge. There was also music from Canada and the US, and many different varieties—all of it presented to us in wonderful long-playing format. What better way to appreciate an album than hearing it first before plunking down some hard-earned cash for the LP?

Anyway, we listened to that station and played ball all day unless we lost our only baseball in the woods that surrounded our only ballfield for the big kids. In that case, we’d head to the Western Auto store with enough change to buy a new ball. And, if we were able to pool enough cash, we’d stop at the Ben Franklin five-and-dime store to see what latest music came in.

That’s how it happened one day, late in the summer, when one of our teammates told us about a Canadian group called Rush. He’d heard the group on a Cleveland radio station when his folks took him to an Indians ballgame. The song was Working Man. The store didn’t have the song or the LP, so the manager said he’d try to order them.

School started and one day when my friends and I were in the multipurpose room for study hall, we heard Rush’s Working Man. (Yes, we were allowed to listen to the radio during study halls, if we kept the volume down.) My friends and I flipped. We had to have the song. But the Ben Franklin store still didn’t have the single or album because of a label change within the band’s management … or something like that … which held up the order at the distributor in Canada.

Meanwhile, at home, when my brother and I were hanging together, we immersed ourselves in the music coming from WMDI. And then it happened one November night: the station played Rush. The music was heavy and fun and worth listening to again. We checked the store the next day, but Rush still hadn’t arrived at our little town’s only record store. I promised myself I’d check again on my birthday. Then, Christmas came. And while my family gathered and opened gifts, my brother handed me that Rush LP and said, “Play it.”

I did. I still do.

rush moon records 1974 photo
Rush, released in 1974 by Moon Records in Canada and by Mercury Records in the United States and internationally.

Photographs are bittersweet reminders of the passing of time. We capture what we can and cherish it. The Italian poet Virgil said that time flies, never to be recalled. Thankfully, 2,000 years after Virgil’s time, we have our photos to look back on.

Thanks for reading.

Peace and love to all my readers.

Steve, 2/19/2023

This post “Reminiscing, part 3” copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

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5 thoughts on “Reminiscing, part 3

  1. First of all…I like all of the pictures…but the frog is stunning…I had to do a double take…I felt like I could reach out and touch it. Pictures can make me happy or very sad…or both at the same time. You are right…it’s like going back in time. I grew up in a small town also.

    You got to listen to all of this music real time! Me and most of my friends would drag their big brothers (I only had a big sister) albums out like the ones you mentioned. I grew up when Madonna was on the radio…and music like that wasn’t for me. When our band played…we would play with heavy bands with spandex…and we would stick with CCR and The Stones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would spend hours outdoors with my camera and make my mom worry when I wasn’t home by dark. Then I got married and did the same to my wife. Sometimes, I had to wait hours for one good shot!

      That’s great your band did CCR and The Stones during the Madonna years. That music has life in it … it gets me singing along anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean…I would off to band practice leaving girlfriends and later on my wife to wait.

        Yea I was critical of my generation during the 80s…I never liked it.

        Liked by 1 person

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