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April 12, 2011

FROM THE “FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH DEPARTMENT”…

I sent this to Canon in the hopes that it might find the right person at the right time… If any of you have ever looked for a professional quality, multi-format film scanner (possible Jorsa) than you know how I feel…


This is less a question than a pleading to Canon engineers… PLEASE develop a top quality film scanner which will scan at least all 120 formats. With Nikon out of the biz and nothing out there producing top quality scans from old and new film, there must be a market. Canon, being an electronics company as well as a camera company, should be able to product something… I know you, the reader of this comment, will not be in a position to help. However, you could forward this to the right people who may understand this great need. (Picture me on my knees begging and pleading for this as soon as possible)

Sincere thanks for anything you can do,

Long time Canon user,

Name and address blah blah blah

March 27, 2009

YARBZ NEGATIVE ARCHIVE: MY 1972 CHEVELLE AND ME: 1978

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BIGGER SIZE IMAGE IN THE ‘MORE’ SECTION

THE STORY:
This is Yarbz and his 1972 Chevelle taken by my mom in 1978. This is the driveway of the house where we lived in Simsbury, Connecticut. I think this is April but I’m not sure. The car was purchased from some guy out in Unionville Connecticut where I saw it sitting on his front lawn with a For Sale sign. I believe this is the initial cleaning and polishing. My parent’s classic rugged and hard sucking Electrolux vacuum was assisting in making this car mine along with a bottle of Armorall sitting on the roof.

The Chevelle was basically stock with a 350 cubic-inch V-8 and a Muncie four-speed manual transmission. It has a 10-bold rear-end which was eventually replaced with a 12-bolt Positraction rear-end later in the year after the original differential began to leak gear oil. I found the 12-bolt Positraction at a local junk yard. My buddy Mike, who worked with me at the ARCO gas station, and I put it in one weekend. The car was very fun and looked great during my senior year at Simsbury High School. While I had the car, I repaired, upgraded and did lots of modifications some of which were ill-advised like the 12-bolt differential. The gear ratio on the new rear-end was different so the speedometer was off. Worse than that was that at highway cruising speeds the engine ran about 500 rpm’s higher than before.

The extra wear and tear from the higher revolutions eventually caused my engine to become unhappy. The unhappiness came to a head one night and caused my motor to explode with anger on the highway while driving up to Springfield Massachusetts where I lived at the time. It was about 1:30 AM and I was racing some guy in a Chevy Nova north on I-91. All the sudden the car made a split-second stutter and then a huge bang! Lots of crunching was heard and felt under the car. I pressed in the clutch and allowed the car to gradually slow. When I looked in the rearview mirror there was an incredibly thick trail of smoke erupting at 80 miles per hour from the back of my Chevelle. I immediately felt as if I was shot down in a WWII fighter and was spiraling to Earth, leaving the tell-tale oily smoke trail behind as I slowly arched toward an inevitable impact in the English countryside.

After gliding to a stop on the side of the dark highway I found that the push rods had blown through the oil pan. This is usually an indication that your motor needs some maintenance. Luckily, the guy I was racing and his buddies pulled over and gave me a ride the rest of the way to my apartment in Springfield. The Chevelle would eventually be towed to my parents’ house and there it would sit until it was sold for $500. I will never know if the person who bought it actually put in a new engine and got it going or not. I wonder to this day if the car is still on the road somewhere.

It was shortly after the destruction of the Chevelle’s engine that I decided my life was going nowhere and that I didn’t want to grind out a living as an auto-mechanic as originally planned. I enlisted in the Marine Corps in the fall of 1978 and was to report to MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) San Diego in January 1979. This seemed like the best way to achieve an immediate change to the direction of my life. As it turned out, it was.
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March 17, 2009

YARBZ NEGATIVE ARCHIVE: CALIFORNIA MOUNTAIN CABIN TRIP 1969 OR 1970

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March 10, 2009

YARBZ NEGATIVE ARCHIVE: THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BEACH SCENE 1973

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The larger image is in the ‘MORE’ section beneath the story along with a closeup of the cars and girls!

The Story:
This picture was taken during the summer of 1973 at Huntington Beach, California on 126 cartridge film. This day at the beach included a visit from my dad’s mother, Nene (pronounced ‘Neh-Knee’). Nene lived in Dallas, Texas where my dad grew up and we’d see her once a year or so. Some years the family would pack up the station wagon de jour and drive to Texas for a visit but Nene apparently liked to travel and get out to see us often. I remember her visiting us in each the towns we lived as kids, San Clemente, CA, Golden, CO and Huntington Beach. Nene is wearing my mom’s jacket which was very funky for the time and I believe there was a matching skirt to go with it.

During any Nene visit, she would inevitably ask (read: “require”) us go with her and work in the flower beds picking weeds. I truly believe she thought this activity was fun for us. Of course, I never wanted to do it but mom would back her up and tell me to get out there and do whatever Nene wanted. I would stomp out there, get on my knees and begin pulling weeds. I would also count the seconds until I could escape like an angry housecat that clearly doesn’t want to be held. This particular memory comes from San Clemente in the late 1960’s. During the Huntington Beach years it was mostly Paul who was forced to serve on the Nene gardening chain-gang.

This beach scene with Nene, Paul (center) and me is typical of the way we spent our time at the beach in those days. Paul was about six or seven years old and had the ever present plastic bucket. The people behind us are actually double bucketed! The aluminum beach chairs were always in the trunk of the car and ready for any impromptu visits to the beach. We spent a lot of time at the beach which is what kids did in Southern California if you lived anywhere near the coast.

The cars in the parking lot east of the sand date the photo ands you will see pristine examples of the vehicles of the era; a 1966-ish blue Ford Mustang; a 1970 Chevrolet El Camino; several station wagons; a green Ford Maverick; a purple 1973 AMC Javelin; a couple Volkswagen Bugs; a red Chevy Vega; a brown Datsun 240Z; a Ford Pinto wagon and many others. I remember our friend and neighbor David Terry had a yellow 1973 Vega and within a year is was significantly rusting! The Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto were America’s first attempts at economy cars and what a poor effort they were.

In front of the parking lot and behind us are several young, sun bathing bikini girls. From what I can tell, they are good looking and wearing the current bikini fashion of the day. Cute bikini clad girls were a dime a dozen at Huntington Beach and I probably didn’t even notice them at the time. There are some more bikini girls in the back of the image walking on the boardwalk, which was asphalt, behind and to the far right. I look at this picture and wonder what the future had in store for these girls as well as the others in the photo. Did they go to college or become traditional housewives or both? Were their lives full of adventure or boredom, joy or tragedy? Were their lives a combination of all of these? I know now what was in store for Paul and me but could never have imagined the path the future would hold. For some reason, I always enjoy pondering the lives of the anonymous people who inhabit our personal photographs.

Also, you will note that I still have braces. I am pretty sure that this was close to the end of my orthodontic treatment as they would come off in a year or so after close to five years of gradual correction of both teeth and overbite.

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March 9, 2009

YARBZ NEGATIVE ARCHIVE: DIANE ARBUS VISITS CALIFORNIA 1969?

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Go to the ‘MORE’ section for full size:

This image was taken around 1969 while our family lived in San Clemente, California. On the right is my younger brother, Paul. On the left, if I remember correctly, is his neighborhood friend, Alice. They used to play together everyday and I remember them being almost like brother and sister at the time. My mother would most likely have taken this picture of the two hobbit-like kids wearing the Los Angeles Rams helmets (both the new and old style). The helmets look so massive on their little bodies and the facial expressions so somber, it takes on a freakish and Diane Arbus-like quality. The only thing this image needs is a square crop and de-saturation to black and white and it could be one of her pictures.

During this time, my father was in the Marine Reserves and away once a month for training at Camp Pendleton. On the weekends when dad wasn’t practicing storming the beaches, the family would watch the Rams play on Sunday with their quarterback Roman Gabriel leading them nowhere each season. My parents would take us to one or two Rams games each year at the LA Coliseum. We’d always stop at the long defunct Shakey’s Pizza and eat before going to the stadium.

Going to the Coliseum was a relatively rare event for us kids however and we’d usually watched the Rams in our family room or “den” as we used to call it, on our new and amazingly large 20-inch, state-of-the-art vacuum tube television! It could have been a 19 or 23 inch or something else similar but I can’t recall. I just remember that when dad brought it home it was a terribly BIG deal. Dad also had an antenna rotator which was a box with a round dial with markings for North, East, West and South. Depending on what channel you wanted to watch, there were little numbered stickers on the face plate which indicated the previously determined position for best reception for that channel. When the dial was turned, it would slowing rotate the antenna, which was in the attic, to the corresponding direction. We would get fantastic reception on all three channels available. With the rotator, we sometimes even got to watch San Diego channels. In 1969 or 1970, cable television came in and radically altered our definition of great reception. No longer was a picture with only a slight ghosting “great”. Before cable, you would adjust the antenna until you got the ‘minimal ghosting’ and you were in visual heaven. There would always be one person who was known to be able to tune in the television better than anyone else. In our house, that was dad.

After tuning the channel just right we’d sit in the den and watch the game with dad and sometimes a few of his friends. At half-time my older brother and I would go out to our front lawn and play “The Rams Greatest Plays” which we would act out in slow motion. This half-time event was filled with amazing catches and fantastic tackles until the beginning of the second half.

The Rams were an indelible part of my memories of growing up in San Clemente, CA. At eight or nine years old, I was such a Rams fanatic that I studied the game programs my parents brought back from the Coliseum and actually memorized the Rams entire roster by name, number, position and years in the league. I’m certain that I knew that roster better than Howard Cosell or any other play by play announcer. Thankfully, that desire to memorize team rosters went away and no longer plagues me!

Go to the ‘MORE’ section for full size:
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February 13, 2009

TWO FROM THE YARBZ NEGATIVE ARCHIVE: PAUL AT DISNEYLAND AND YARBZ IN 1972:

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Paul at Disneyland Anaheim California 1979… Autopia kids steer the car the steel guide rail car is straddling hit the gas without steering violently crash against the rail dizzy my friend Mitch caught jumping off the People Mover changing cars 1973 big trouble fsecurity people with walkie talkies 126 negative drawings in 1972 Living in Golden Colorado write a lot of stories draw World War II fighters Pop Warner Football jersey We were pretty lousy bench warmer wearing the braces 1970 living in San Clemente California “head gear” correct an overbite very unlucky kids wear during the school day misery severe throbbing pain child torture device slowly changing my face orthodontist parents laid out pretty large chunk of change

February 12, 2009

YARBZ NEGATIVE ARCHIVE: THIS IS ONE GREAT PHOTO:

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Comments from my Father: “The great photo you sent was me with a long time friend and brother Marine, Colonel John M. Terry, USMC(ret). John is living in Orlando. FL, and we maintain contact via email, usually several times a week. John and I are both from Dallas, TX, and we both went to SMU, although I did not know him then. I met John when we were Captains, in the late 50’s, when he was I&I of the 15th Rifle Co. in Seal Beach, CA and I was Commanding Officer. John fought in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam, where he was CO of a Marine Infantry Bn. I am attaching a photo he sent me while serving in VN. After he left Seal Beach, he was an advisory officer to Chaing Kai-shek and the Chinese National Forces onTaiwan. The photo you sent was shortly after John returned from Viet Nam, and he spent his first leave with us at our home in San Clemente. I could clearly see him wind down from a highly agitated state to a more calm, relaxed one while he was with us. A fine Marine, should have made General.”

YARBZ NEGATIVE ARCHIVE: SPEED DEMONS AND STUDENTS OF GRAVITY:

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YARBZ NEGATIVE ARCHIVE: 1970 GRAND PRIX, TODD RUNDGREN AND HARD DRIVING:

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This is me with my parents 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix in our yard in Simsbury, CT. My dad bought this car used and I was the only driver for the most part. It came with an 8-Track under the drivers seat and one tape, Todd Rundgren… I forgot which one it was. Anyway, I played that tape until it wore out. My dad bought a new set of tires from the Arco gas station where I worked and they were worn out in less than 9000 miles… The car had a 400 cubic inch V-8 with a 4-barrel carburetor. I drove the car hard I guess… I don’t know why I am dressed up in this picture. (Scanned from the original 126 negative February 10, 2009)

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