I’ve been doing a spring house cleaning. Trying to give myself as much room as possible. It’s not exactly rational – more like the salmon taking their last trip upriver.
Anyway – the big thing was to get up to the loft and start cleaning that out. What I found there – crazy. It hadn’t been dusted in ten plus years and it was the cat’s home for at least 7 years.
There are many darkroom prints that I thought would one day be valuable. But their time hasn’t come yet. And no – they aren’t better than what I’m printing now. Many are worse.
It was like going back through my sordid history: there was the folding table that I used when I sold prints in front of the Metropolitan Museum, along with all the other crap I would drag over there early in the morning. Out all that crap goes. What a miserable way to try and make a living that was. Of course, when you’re desperate, you do whatever you can. I remember my first day out there – feeling low to be selling on the street when my sister and her friend stopped by to pretend to buy something. They made me feel even worse.
I remember days when nothing would sell. I’d be out there before dawn (first come first with the best spot) – and the entire day would go by – without a sale. I remember that the guy that did the best did the Chinese- or maybe it was Japanese- script for the tourists. And it was all for the tourists. And they all wanted the same thing at the cheapest price. I learned a few things, I guess – but I don’t like to remember those days.
For example, the law was (and as far as I know still is) that you had to be the creator of the art to sell it. That was and is a laugh. Most of the pictures were stolen (scanned) from books of other photographers, and reprinted on cheap paper with cheap frames and managed by the Chinese, or in some cases the Russians. It was all a racket.
I did deeper.
Here an old Epson printer box which rattles when you shake it. I had taken the trouble to label it: Darkroom Things. There were reels, and probably tanks in it. Out out out. I didn’t even open it. I didn’t try to donate to anyone that wants to learn chemical photography. Out.
And then – there were the small gift boxes. Tons of them. From the time I was going to make my money selling gift cards. Out, out, out.
There was a scsi card? Remember them? And a Jazz drive? Out. And what’s this – an ancient Thinkpad laptop that I bought used a few years ago after it was already a few years old. In the big black garbage bag and out it goes.
With all the cleaning – I’ve made the cat very happy because all that is left is one carton that I’ve made esp. for him, and he just loves because it’s just the right height for him to either curl up in it unseen, or look out over the edge and watch me.
I suppose this all has something to do with my getting ready to travel – but so far I haven’t made much progress there. My bags are packed. I’m ready to go. I’m standing here. All alone…
But it won’t be a jet plane. It’ll be a low-budget, compact rental. The only thing is – you folks are still sending in orders, and one of them if for a negative and I can’t find the damned thing. That’s the worst. Alright – I took a break while the 7800 was doing it’s big print and it’s done and now I’ve got to go through some stacks of negs. I haven’t had to do that for a long time and forgot how annoying it is. But someone bought a print that I’ve never sold – and it was a color negative that I’d turned to b&w, and I think I left it with some of the color negs in the closet… I hope that’s where it is…
Oh, the one thing I did keep was the carrying case from the ancient thinkpad – that fits this laptop perfectly…