TREVOR "The Games Man"

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TREVOR's Museum of Real Art  
 Gallery 3:
"My First Three Rolls of Film!"
 All photos by and ┬ęTREVOR 2009.
This gallery is dedicated to my next younger brother Ian,
who inspired me to present this exhibit.
On my 11th birthday --- Wednesday, March 22, 1967 --- my father gave me my first camera. It was just a small automatic "point & shoot" with 12 pictures to a roll, but it was my camera. That afternoon, I went outside and started taking pictures. I remember being pretty excited about it, too; in fact, I snapped the entire roll that day.
I guess I wasn't all that excited about it though, because my second roll didn't happen for another 4┬Ż months that August at camp. The third roll was only a month after that in September. And after that, I guess I completely lost interest because I don't have any more photos I took for most of 10 years. But I still now vividly remember most of these first pictures I took more than 4 decades later. 
Using the print shop's batch numbers on the backs of the photos and the numbering on the negatives (which I amazingly still have, and in the original print shop envelope, too!), I was able to piece together the order that I took these in. There are a few prints missing that I remember well and know exactly what they are from the negatives.  There's also a few prints missing that even looking at the negatives I haven't any idea where they were taken. Along with the commentary on the prints I have, I'll also indicate as much as I know about the missing photos in the listings below.
So without further ado, here's "My First Three Rolls of Film!":
March 22, 1967
1046 North Home Lane
Des Plaines IL
Print 1: Our Greyhound bus, front view. Pop was a handyman. We were a family of 10 who liked to go camping. When the family got too big for tent camping, Pop bought a used schoolbus (see Prints 5 & 7 below) and converted it into a camper. So we travelled around by schoolbus each summer. And then one fateful summer, we went to the Rocky Mountains. That poor old flatlander schoolbus of ours didn't have an engine capable of going over the Rockies. We blew out the engine in Silverton Colorado that summer. The local garage fixed it up for us, but followed us out of town with a tow truck knowing we wouldn't make it far. So they dragged us back in to town. We spent 10 days in this little tourist town while the mechanics and Pop jammed in a new short block. Then we went directly home. When we got there, Pop bought a Greyhound bus, parked it in our driveway, and set to work on it. I still have a cross section of the floor that Pop drilled out to run some pipe or something through.  I have no idea who the people standing inside the bus are, although just from the tilt of the arm I suspect the one on the left is Pop.


Print 2: Our Greyhound bus, left side. Here's the left side of the Greyhound. Notice the hatch open in front of the rear wheel. From there to the front wheel was all storage hatches below the main floor of the bus. You can see the outlines of most of them. Some of these we actually used for storage, but others held all sorts of bus stuff like water tanks, gas tanks for the stove (I think), electronics for other systems, etc. By the way, I went to GoogleMaps to look at our old house from above, and these little trees in the foreground here are huge now 40-something years later.

Print 3: Our Greyhound, right side. The extreme angle of this photo is due to my inexperience with a camera. I believe the photo above shows the actually tilt of our driveway. You can see the door of the bus is open. One of my siblings is on a trike at the extreme right of the photo.

Print 4: The negative is completely blank as if I wound the film without clicking the shutter. Inexperience.
Print 5: The schoolbus, right side.  We all thought the schoolbus was awesome. The lower half was dark green; the upper part silver. It was loud and everything rattled, but we were basically driving around in a house! It had beds for all of us, a dining area, kitchen, full bath, and you can see the ladder on the outside that Pop used to get onto the roof. What more could we possibly want?

Print 6: Good Shepherd Community Church. My Pop is a preacher. We lived in the parsonage next door to the church. It was designed by the famous architect Lloyd Wright (son of the even more famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright) so it was definitely extremely cool as churches go. This is actually the back of the Sunday School wing with about half of the roof over the actual sanctuary part of the church. Those triangle across the peak of the roof are skylights with copper flashing around them. Wicked cool, huh? (I just wanted to say "wicked cool" because it's a church!) The schoolbus is parked just to the right of this photo. The church closed in 1983, well after we moved away. This building is now the town administrative building for Maine Township, Illinois. Click here to see current photos of it.

Print 7: Our schoolbus, left side. The schoolbus was registered the same as an automobile because it was legally the same as a family car since it was only used to transport our immediate family. Toll roads kept trying to charge us as if we were a bus, of all things! So Pop painted the words "PRIVATE HOUSE CAR" in big block letters over the windshields. I don't know if it helped but I thought it was pretty funny. You can see the back end of the church over the front of the bus.

Print 8: Mrs. Murin's house. Don't know if I spelled her name right, but Mrs. Murin was the old lady that lived across the street. Every day she'd take her dog for a walk up the street. I struck up a friendship with her, and sometimes went dogwalking with her, too. I've always loved old ladies!
(That fire hydrant on our front lawn also plays a part in another photo below.)

Print 9: My sister Laura swinging. Of all the photos in this exhibit, this is the one I remember the most. My sister Laura and I have always been very close. And this is my favorite picture of her. (She may not like that, but....) I think of it as the "Big Foot" picture. In my mind, all these many years, her feet have always appeared way bigger than they actually are in the real photo. You can see the entire roof of the church over the hedge behind her.

Print 10: My sister Ellen and brother Lee in our back yard. My recollection is that Ellen was very eager to pose for this photo and kind of dragged Lee semi-unwillingly into it. The looks on their faces kind of bears this out. This view is looking the opposite way from the swingset in the photo above. You can see in the background that our neighbors had a swingset, too. 

Print 11: Our neighbor David Lundberg in back of his house. I remember this little guy as having loads of energy: always tearing around at top speed. And he was  pretty cheerful and had a great sense of humor, too. He and my sister Ellen were about the same age and were pals.

Print 12: [missing]. Somebody's house, but I'm not sure whose.
August 1967
Fryeburg New Church Assembly family camp
Fryeburg ME
Print 1: [missing]. This is a big block of black on the negatives. I suspect I exposed the first exposure when I put the film in the camera. Inexperience.
Prints 2, 3, & 4: Lost River Gorge, Woodstock NH. These three aren't actually in Fryburg ME like it says above. But every Wednesday at camp is Outing Day, and this particular Outing Day we went to Lost River. This was long before they built all the boardwalks and ladders and railings and stairs that they have at Lost River now. There were a few places where there was a short bit of boardwalk to get over a tough part. There were a few areas that had ladders to get down into them. There were a few railings to stop people from falling over the very worst precipices. And there were no stairs at all. So I'm just leaning out over the edge of the rocks taking pictures of waterfalls.

Print 5: The Farnhams on the front lawn at camp. Mr. & Mrs. Farnham were two of my favorite people when I was 11. Mr. Farnham was a ham radio operator. I thought that was just the coolest: he talks to people all over the world! In the 60's, that was a pretty amazing thing to do without a telephone. He also never talked down to me. And Mrs. Farnham was a cheerful, sweet old lady who was always very nice to me and everyone else, too. (Remember: I love old ladies!)

Print 6: The Nichols/Haskell family. The Nichols/Haskell family were close friends of our family. In fact, we kids called the parents "Auntie Anne & Uncle Ernie". They lived on the coast of Maine in an awesome little inlet called Fishhouse Cove. We often visited them when we were in Maine each summer. And for a while, when their kids were little, they came to camp, too. So that's Kippy, Aurelie, Auntie Anne, and (I think) Uncle Ernie with his back to us hugging some kid in his arms.

Print 7: Steve and Robin Larsen on the front lawn at camp. Steve was very muscular, and he and Robin got into TM, mysticism, Joseph Campbell, mythology, neurofeedback. They both became published authors, college professors, board members of various New Age organizations, and started their own psychotherapy practice together. Robin was also an accomplished artist, art historian, and book editor.

Print 8: The Fosters on the front lawn at camp. Don Foster was one of the goofiest adults I knew. I really liked that about him. He was always horsing around with us kids, making funny faces, weird noises, and doing silly things. That's his wife (who's name I'm forgetting. Linda maybe?) and their son George.

Prints 9, 10, 11:  I don't recognize this house at all.

Print 12, 13:  I have no idea where this is either, but I'm pretty sure the back of the house in the three above photos is facing it.

Fall 1967
Des Plaines IL
Dearborn MI
Print 1: Ian getting his autograph booked signed by a girl. This was the first day of school at Mark Twain Elementary School. I remember taking this photo specifically because my little brother was getting a girl's autograph in his book. Nice shirt Ian's got on, huh?

Prints 2: My teacher's desk, with the chalkboard behind it. Not sure who the person is, but I'm pretty sure she's not my teacher.
Print 3: My teacher, Mrs. Rish. Unlike most of my teachers, I actually remember Mrs. Rish. She always wore print dresses -- never solid colors -- which is why I'm pretty sure the person in the photo above isn't her.

Print 4: [missing]. I think this is a close-up of Mrs. Rish's desk, but I really can't tell.
Prints 5 & 6: My 5th grade classroom. To this day, I've still surprised that my teacher let me take these pictures during class. I mean, I took the first photo from one corner of the room and then walked all the way across the front of the class and took the second one from the other corner... and I'd taken three pictures already! Okay, it was the first day of school and all, but it still surprises me.
   In the upper of the two photos, the kid standing up waving papers in the back row was always trying to get more attention. Notice he's standing in the back still facing the camera in the lower photo, too. Still getting attention to this very day! Looking at these photos as I type this, I'm surprised by something else I've never noticed before: in the upper photo, a kid over towards the right in the front row with his hand on his head is wearing a hat in school. I tried that quite a bit later on when I started my love affair with hats and rarely got away with it.

Print 7: Mrs. Rish at 10:00 a.m.  Mrs. Rish always stood up in front of the class -- never sat behind her desk when she was teaching. And was one of the nicest teachers I ever had.

Print 8: Ian and Todd in our driveway beside the Greyhound. Two of my three younger brothers. Todd was just sitting there in the driveway looking at ants coming up out of the crack in the driveway. Ian saw me with my camera, came running over, hunkered down next to Todd, and said, "Take our picture!" How could I resist? You also get a close-up of the side of the Greyhound. You can see how big most of the storage compartments underneath were. Notice the vent in the window above: that's an exhaust fan for the bathroom and (I think) an air intake next to it.

Print 9: Lee, Todd, Ian, and the fire hydrant in our front yard. Here's my three younger brothers all together. And this fire hydrant played a part in some of the games we played in the front yard, too. That's Mrs. Murin's house across the street again, this time with the garage door open (see print 8 of Roll #1 above).
Print 10: Uncle Bob and his car in front of the grandparents' house in Dearborn MI.  My father's older brother and his wife (see Print 12) were square dancers: they wore elaborate costumes, travelling around the country competing for prizes... the whole nine yards. He also really liked his cars. And I remember him as a big kidder, too.

Print 11: [missing]. This is a photo of my Grammy & Grampa (with his walker) in front of their house in Dearborn MI. I remember this photo vividly, so I know I had it at some point.
Print 12: Aunt Hazel next to the Greyhound in Dearborn MI. I remember Aunt Hazel as a cheerful, smiling, really nice lady. She made good cookies, too. Once the 60's hit and we boys started growing our hair long, it kind of weirded her out a bit, but....

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