Paying it Forward

Back in 2004 Michael got this camera, a Fujifilm S5000.  I didn’t get to know the camera until the winter of 2005/2006.  Before that I had taken a teeny-tiny break from taking pictures because the little point-and-shoot Fuji cam that I was using  was “kind of” broken.  Well, when I say “kind of” broken, I mean to say that I left it in my bag, during a visit to Pumpkinville with my parents, along with a couple of candy apples.   The candy apples kind of melted and got into the cameras buttons and, well, I tried to clean it, but it was never the same. That was the fall that I went blond for all of four minutes.

Fall 2005

Then I remembered that Michael had this great camera and I started to get acquainted with it.  Some of the first pictures I took with it were our Christmas card portraits and Maureen’s house during our Christmas Lunch/Mama Gab Session/Kiddie Cupcake Decorating Gathering. Then New Year’s Eve where Michael taught this guy Andy to fly a plane and I sang karaoke like a madwoman.  Then the Girl Scout event where our then-troop dressed in tradition Indian Saris.  Then a trip to Helen, GA where I realized I needed to take that camera everywhere from now on. Then more and more and more.

Days of Old 2005/2006

Then this blog started getting decorated with my pictures from that camera.   Then Michael bought me my DSLR. And Mr. Fuji S5000 sat; after all he needed a new lithium battery and wouldn’t keep the date set, internally.  Mikey found him and started to make little Lego animations, but that was it.  For the most part Mr. Fuji S5000 sat and collected proverbial dust in the cupboard.

This past summer, when I was up in Buffalo, I went for a traditional dinner with one of my favorite people in the world.  My cousin Pauline and I dined at Gabriel’s Gate in Buffalo.  Then we drove around on Elmwood Avenue and I took some pictures.

Dusk Descends on Elmwood Avenue

The following conversation might not be ex.act. but it’s primarily the way it went down:

“PJ, you need a good camera!”

“I know, Mishi, I just don’t have the money for a good one.”

“Well, you take good pictures with your cell phone camera.   You NEED a camera.  Look, we have this camera, at home,  you know the one that looks like it’s a professional one but isn’t?  I think Michael is talking about selling it on eBay. I’ll see how much the starting bid would be set at, and maybe you could afford that?”

“Yeah, that’d be really cool, Cuz”

You know how time flies, and things get forgotten?  Well, that happened to me. Then this past Christmas Michael and I were shopping for the kids’ presents and we had decided to get Mikey a camera.  Michael said, “Maybe we should just give Mikey that old Fuji?”

“Actually, I forgot to run this past you a while ago, but Pauline might want to buy that from us?”  I said.

“Buy it from us?  I wouldn’t sell it to her.  But, I’d give it to her!” he smirked.

He then started to research how to replace the lithium battery so that he could do it himself, so that Pauline wouldn’t have to get it done herself.   In the meantime I called Pauline to tell her what we were planning for her.  It was still before Christmas and when I called her she started to cry.  I felt gratitude that Michael was so generous to give it to her.  I felt proud that we were paying it forward to someone we love so much.  I felt happy that Pauline was going to have a good camera to take some really good pictures with.  Because I believe in her ability to take quality photos.  Now I can’t wait to see what she does.

Ironically, the camera got to her during the week of Orthodox Christmas.    When she called to thank us (again) I told her that all we wanted was for to use it and get good at what she’s already got a knack for.   I can’t wait to see what my cousin does with it.  Maybe I could even get her to do a guest post?  Now that would be really cool!

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9 Responses to “Paying it Forward”
  1. You’re awesome in so many ways.

    Just please don’t go back to blond, mkay?

  2. 01.12.2009

    it will be exciting, right? :) fun tmes

  3. 01.12.2009

    You are a great cousin – because that’s just the kind of person you are. (Please notice I have very tactfully NOT said anything about the blond experiment.)

  4. 01.12.2009

    Very cool!! Hope she does do a guest post, can’t wait to see her pics :)

  5. 01.12.2009

    I think our lives are oddly in-sync. I just had a very similar converstion with my officemate who wishes she had a camera (other than her phone) so she can take “real” pictures. And because I got a new Canon 40D this year I offered to GIVE her my old fujifilm camera. How weird! I honestly couldnl’t think of a better thing to do with an old camera than give it away to someone who will use the hell out of it and be creative too.

  6. 01.12.2009

    I think paying it forward is one of the best things ever! You guys rock as a couple — I know why you have great kids — great parents. :)

    And you really need to have that rich thick black hair — much more you!

  7. 01.12.2009

    This is so cool! I saw the picture of the camera taken apart and freaked a little though. :)

    I’ve been to Gabriel’s Gate! It was on my one trip to Buffalo ever last year. It was freaking February and COLD though.

  8. 01.13.2009

    I’m not quite the Superman one might assume… I was an electronics tech in a previous life.

    Meanwhile, back on the farm, I can’t wait to see some of Pauline’s work. I’m hoping for some breakthrough paranormal pictures. She’s an avid ghost hunter (I’m jealous of that BTW), and I just know she’s out taking pictures in old abandoned buildings and deserted mental hospitals.

  9. 01.13.2009

    You are to Superman.. with a hairy chest!


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