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June 15, 2005

Volume 2, Issue 15

What do you make of this, ladies and gentlemen?

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Tanya: Remember?

They called him crazy, but kitschy toys from his childhood were his obsession. He haunted local garage sales and eBay, sometimes traveling long distances to find the treasures he could not live without. Old View Master reels, decoder rings, a working Snoopy Sno-Cone machine, even the Wonder Woman doll with the real earrings.

But the grail had alluded him until today. Exhausted from the transcontinental flight, he now waited with bated breath at Sotheby’s, for the prize to end all prizes.

Today it would be his, whatever the cost. The worst lenticular picture ever found in a Cracker Jack box.

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Michele: When She Walks to the Sea, She Looks Straight Ahead, Not at Me

It is early evening in late summer, that moment between dusk and darkness, when the world is bathed in serious shades of blue, and the shadows seem to be debating about whether to come out. Golden stars poke through the painted sky as the last streak of a magenta sunset fades away. Two white birds swoop into the scene and he points, pauses and shoots.

Later, he realizes the camera was set on black and white, his left thumb was over the lens and the birds were out of focus. Again, as always, the beauty of life escapes his capture.

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Ted: Serendipity

The stuttering shutter was annoying. He'd gone out for a day of relaxation, shooting in the scrub behind his house. Instead he was getting frustrated by the shutter in his old Nikon F. Yeah, it had gone over a waterfall. And yeah, it had gotten sucked up by that tornado out by Lake Nasworthy. But it had worked fine for years after that. He had decided to call it a day, despite the early hour, when he flushed the bird. Instinctively he shot as he fell and smashed the lense.

Years later, developing this forgotten film made him a fortune.

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Stacy: Flight

We salvaged the camera from the Wilson place. Four-alarm job, and volunteer crews came in from three counties. Nice folks. Too bad.

Ed took it over to the mini-mart to get developed. We joked about what we might get back, halfhearted-like. The Wilsons had had three kids.

When Ed picked up the pictures, the mini-mart clerk said only the one picture printed off the whole roll, even though it wasn't burned or nothing.

When we looked at the picture we shivered like someone was walking across our graves. The timestamp on the picture was 5/27, 9:23AM...the morning after the fire.

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