Friday, June 16, 2006

A Butcher, A Baker, A Candlestick Maker?

Well, not exactly, but when Elena was little she sure liked listening to those old nusery rhymes. Strange how one thing leads to another. I met my fishing buddy, Roland Johnson, for breakfast yesterday. We went to a place I'd never been before. It only opened perhaps a month or so ago but Roland raved about their scones and pastries. As I ate I kept noticing a woman sitting across the room from me. I doubt that our eyes ever made contact, and I don't recall ever thinking "Gee, she sure looks familiar!", but there was just something about her that kept calling my attention to her. On the way out, as I was walking by her she hesitatingly said "Al Kaplan?" and gesture for me to sit with her. "You don't know who I am, do you? You don't remember me."

Something clicked and I blurted out "You're Nathan Benn's sister!" I hadn't seen her in what? Twenty, twenty-five years? Way back when Nathan was still going to North Miami Sr. High and the University of Miami and stringing for the Miami News with his Nikon F's and Leica M's. He used to come over all the time and use my darkroom. Then it was off to The Big Time working for National Geographic, and more recently a couple year stint heading up the New York office of Magnum, the international picture agency. Lenore gave me his phone number and insisted I call him. We chatted for about 15 minutes.

Here's a photo of Nathan 34 years ago. Elena is now a tax attorney in Atlanta. Her mother, in the center of the photo, is Dr. Stephanie Brundage, M.D. and lives in South Carolina. Somehow "A lawyer,a doctor, a photographer" just doesn't sound right for a nursery rhyme. I was shooting with a 35/1.4 Summilux on my double-stroke Leica M3. I soon sold the lens. I decided that I could live with f/2 and bought a Summicron which I used on my Leica M4. The M3 body was relegated to just the longer focal lengths. I never liked the "eyes" to convert the 50mm frame to the 35mm angle of view and the first model of the 35 Sunmmilux gave some interesting effects but sharpness wasn't one of them.


Anonymous Rick Waldroup said...

Once again Al, an amazing story to go along with a wonderful photo. I keep coming back here time and time again for stuff just like this. Excellent work, Al.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: dedham kayak, I built one about 1975 is company still around?

1:15 PM  
Blogger Al Kaplan said...

I couldn't find much mention of Dedham Kayaks with a Google search other than my own posts...LOL

2:01 PM  

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