Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way

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The Films – Organized And The Beginning Lot Is In Process

Here’s the chronological list of films my dad had. I have added the descriptions as written on the envelops as well as the dates when I could read them. I made minor additions for clarity here and there.

I took the first lot of them to the guy who’s going to digitize them this morning. He will give me digital files on flash drives, both edited in the way he deems most attractive and clear and the raw version of all of them. Once I get those digital files, I will create compressed versions of the movies that can be easily watched and shared on YouTube. I will then share the links on Facebook so that family can share as much as they wish with others. The earliest I expect to get them back is Thursday of next week (Aug 15 2019).

I decided to convert the films in chronological order, and I started with a smaller batch to make sure I like working with they guy who’s doing the conversion. Assuming I like him I will probably take him all the rest in one go. I have put the ones that I took in bold.

Niagra Falls 1965 – Mom and I have no idea who will be on these
Niagra Falls 1965

Xmas Peterson’s ’74-’75 – Yep, he misspelled it.
First Roll of Sound Film Salt Fork May 1975
Southwest Trip June 1975
Northwest Trip Aug & Sept 1976
Last Part of Northwest Trip Aug & Sept 1976
Nanna & Nannie Thanksgiving Summer ’76 and ’77
’75, ’76, ’77 Reunion
Judy, Jana, Vivian’s weddings & Dosh summer ’77
At Aunt Annie’s Aug 14 1977
Swimming pool Pt Pleasant NJ 1977 – This envelope is empty. There are two films out of the envelop, so perhaps one of this went in this envelop
Unlabeled and undated – but the packaging seems to indicate it’s from the last 70’s and possibly ’77 or ’78
Pt Pleasant Aug ’78 roll 1
Pt Pleasant Aug ’78 roll 2
Carol’s wedding Nov 26 1977
All Katie 1 and 2 yrs Xmas ’77 and ’78 parties and Santa
Karen’s wedding and Jane’s wedding Aug ’77 and Sept ’78
Gary’s Ordination – this is undated, so I don’t know where exactly to file it.
Reunion ’78 and ’79
Xmas ’79 at Bertha’s
Katie xmas ’78 3 yr birthday party xmas ’79
Alice and Stu wedding

Disney World Feb 1980
Katie’s 4th Birthday Party April 1980
Reunion Aug 1980
Xmas 80 roll 1
Xmas 80 roll 2
One roll that is unlabeled from March 23 1981 – this envelop was empty – there are two movies out of the envelop, so perhaps one of those went in this envelop
Three rolls that are unlabeled from Sept 28 1981
Christmas 1981 1
Christmas 1981 2
Fla-trip 81
Jennifer’s Wedding 1981
Northwest trip 1981
Cypress Gardens FL Mar 22 1982 roll 1
Cypress Gardens FL Mar 22 1982 roll 2
Tennessee Trip June 22 1982 roll 1
Tennessee Trip June 22 1982 roll 2
All grandkids Sept 7 1982
Grandkids in Abrigg’s house sandbox Sept 7 1982
Xmas 82 roll 1
Xmas 82 roll 2
Reunion 1981 and 1982
Disney World Oct 1982

Billy body building Feb 28 1983
Sept 25 1983 kids in the back yard
Reunion # 2 – no date, but by process of elimination I think 1983
Reuinion # 3 83
1 roll undated and unlabeled but appears to be in similar packaging to the 83/84/85 films
2 rolls with no date and a label that I cannot read – maybe it says Steve’s? As will note above they are in similar packating to the other 83/84/85 films
1 roll undated and unlabeled but appears to be in similar packaging to the 83/84/85 films
Reunion 1984 roll 1
Reunion 1984 roll 2
Reunion 1984 roll 3
Christmas 1984 roll 1
Christmas 1984 roll 2
Reuinion 1985 roll 1
Reunion 1985 roll 2
1 roll with the same develop date (Aug 26 1985) as the reunion rolls above with a label that I cannot read – maybe it says Francie?
3 rolls of film that were all developed Aug 25th 1986 without labels – my guess based on date and how quickly my dad seemed to develop what he shot is that these are the 86 reunion.
Kate Xmas 85 part 1
Kate xmas 85 # 2
Second part of farm? I cannot read that and beginning of Kate Christmas 1985 – weird thing about these three Christmas 85 films is that they show a develop date of 12/26/86 and accourding to all the other films dad developed right away. So, I am just wondering if he wrote the wrong date here.



Home Movies

As I pack up my dad’s projectors for a friend to pick-up, I can remember watching his movies with him. The projector had a distinctive smell, like brand new Styrofoam, industrial but not unpleasant. Dry erase markers are the closest thing I can come up with.
As the projector would warm with the lamp the whole room would take on the smell. Smelling it as I lowered it into the box put be back just for a moment in the family room of our house on Midvale. He would use a TV tray, yet another obsolete object, to put the projector at a height that was appropriate for the projector screen.
I know myself, and as much as I want to hang on to the currently non-functional projector, I know it will go into the corner of the basement where I will not confront it again until we move out of this house. Upon every move I will be confronted with its lack of use since I last laid eyes on it, and I will tell myself it will be different this time, but it won’t.
But I have the movies. I’m taking the first lot to get digitized this week. I have some trepidation in confronting what’s on those movies. I teared up just looking at my dad’s scrawled descriptions on the reels. I haven’t heard my grandpa’s voice in 24 years. I can’t conjure what he sounded like. He’s there. He’ll be speaking to me from the late 70’s and early 80’s.
And then there’s my dad. He’s there too. He’s the man who I adored and admired as though he was Superman. He’s the man uncomplicated to my 5 year old eye, before we grew older and I saw him whole, weaknesses and strengths.
His voice is not yet broken by his lengthy stay in the ICU. He hasn’t yet soaked in years of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. It’s before I learned to fear his rejection.
I think it was relatively easy to let go of sick dad. He wasn’t living in the way he wished, and seeing him in that state was profoundly painful. But I’ve been mourning and still mourn the dad in those videos even today. I haven’t seen that dad, the uncomplicated one, in so, so long. I feel certain seeing that dad will bring just as much grief as he will joy.
But even so. I have to see him. This is what living fully really is. It’s laughing with tears streaming down your face with a heart full of gratitude.
I miss you, dad. I know you did your best, and I am so thankful, even for the hard times.


Trevi At Dawn

On the morning that we flew out, I got up at 5 before the sun was up. I walked though the sleeping city to The Trevi Fountain with the hope that I might have some quite moments with it. I wasn’t disappointed. When I arrived I found myself with 5 or 6 photographers there looking to capture the exactly what I hoped to.

We all hung back at the fringes to stay out of each other’s shots and watched and waited for the light. It was such a lovely contrast from my visit to The Fountain days prior. The throngs of people with the selfie sticks were gone. The city was holding its breath for the subtle ways the light shifts second by second at dawn.

As the sun came up the instagrammers came too. And I needed to get back to our room to finish my last minute packing, and get on a plane. That quiet morning was the perfect way to wish Italy a fond farewell. I hope to see you again one day.


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We Found The Cats

Jeannine thought that cats at Roman ruins were a thing. Until this point in the trip we only saw one solitary cat at Pompeii, and while I was thrilled with everything, the only way to improve the best things for me is to add cats. An ice cream cone is better with a kitten in your lap. A nap is better with a purring furry little buddy. A morning of coffee and contemplation is improved with some lazy cat snuggles.

We found the cats. With the help of our tour guide in Pompeii. Jeannine asked her about the cats and Roman ruins thing, and she confirmed this was not just magical legend. She directed us to a ruin that also houses a cat sanctuary.

This ruin is just smack in the middle of modern Rome. It takes up more than one city block. It’s also the place where Caesar was assassinated, etu Brute’

But cheers to cats in the ruins!

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Pompeii Through Telephoto

We took a bus from Rome that drove up to Vesuvius and then on to Pompeii. You might wonder why we didn’t spend more time in Naples (the closest city to Pompeii, Pompeii is just outside of it.) Putting it simply, our friends who have visited said it was a dump. I’m sure my impression of it wasn’t improved in anyway when I researched how we might take public transit from Rome to Pompeii. According to Travel Advisor users the Naples bus station is flush with characters who are quite skilled at getting money from foolish tourists. We spoke a small amount of Italian, but still had that slack-jawed look about us that most people out of their element have.

When we were thinking about how we were going to spend our time, we didn’t feel that we wanted to sacrifice a night in Rome for a night in Naples to gain a full day in Pompeii. I can confirm all those days in Rome were worth it just for the Carbonara and Cacio e Pepe we had. We possibly missed excellent Neapolitan pizza, but we had already had stellar pizzas in Florence and Rome. How much better could it get? I felt like we were touching the face of God with the pizza already.

We were just trying to figure out who had what camera. Jeannine clearly had this camera, because there are pictures of me.

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Vesuvius and POMPEII

I have been fascianted with Pompeii since first hearing about it, so when a trip to Italy was first broached I enthusiastically said yes and POMPEII. I am fascinated by all aspects of the story. I am fascinated with seeing a city that was stopped in time and preserved across centuries. I am fascinated with the circumstances by which the city was extinguished and why it was forgotten and left untouched for so long.

I loved it. I want to go back and wander in it from dawn until dusk. I was struck with two things. First, the Romans were probably better city planners than we are now. Second, I left Pompeii with the conviction that those people weren’t all that different from us. Ancient history feels really remote, but they enjoyed food and entertainment just as we do. They took pride in their homes and in their work. And they also lived in comfort partially because they eploited people with less power. Not all that much has changed.

Walking the same streets that people walked 2000 years ago, I heard the echoes of the people who once lived there. The whole city felt as though the citizens were just out of sight; they would just duck around a corner moments before I turned it. They would disappear in doorways just before I raised my eyes to them. The armies of French teenagers roving there did a stellar job of throwing this vibe into the trash can.

Our guide Enzo grew up in Pompeii; his dad was a archaeologist who spent most of his career digging there. Enzo pulled no punches with the unruly French teens. I overheard him say bitterly to one of the other guides, “I go to the Louvre and talk in a normal tone of voice and get shushed by everyone. They send their kids here unattended, and they behave like little barbarians.” Although Enzo was very knowledgeable and funny, this was the moment that I knew we had the right guide.

But the obnoxious French teens weren’t enough to tarnish the experience for me. They were a minor annoyance. The next time I go back, I will however avoid field trip season.

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The Vatican & The Colosseum

Our guide at The Vatican was a lovely man. But he pointed out, too many times really, each time something was painted to look at though there are three dimensional decorations. While we lumbered through The Vatican we were regularly treated to him pointing to something and saying “It’s painted.” We got used to this familiar refrain, and we found ourselves reflexively saying “it’s painted” every time he drew our attention to something.

His consistency made it remarkable when his repetitive statement changed once we entered St Peter’s Basiclica. St Peter’s has had a history with fire and has had several of them over the years. Some wise guy during a rebuild had all the paintings replaced with mosaics. Have you guessed yet? It’s mosaics. It’s all mosaics.

And these two statements have come home with us.