Memories of Dad – Photography

One of the constants of my youth, and spending time with dad was his camera. Most often, he had a twin lens reflex camera (sadly, I don’t know if it was a Rollieflex, or one of the Japanese variants (like the Mamiya), but I do recall him loading the 120 medium format film, and doing his own developing and printing of black and white.

Wherever we went, the camera went too. Hiking, to the beach, to the park, or whatnot, we were photographed.

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Early Memories of my Father – The Outdoors

As I continue this trip down memory lane, it is odd the things that stand out from my early memories. Today, I will talk about hiking and spending time outdoors.

As I mentioned in the first post, we were in Sunnyvale, in the south San Francisco Bay Area. This was before Silicon Valley really rose to prominence, but the early whiffs of the greatness of that movement were in the air. Being in the area meant that we were close to a lot of outdoor recreation, and the population hadn’t grown to the density it is today.

My dad enjoyed hiking and spending time outdoors. From a very early age, I remember hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains, places like Castle Rock for short trips, or Big Basin park for longer (all day) hikes. Of course now, my memories are fond, but I am sure that I was a complaining tot to have to walk all that distance.

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A new series – My Father

Recently, we gathered in San Diego to celebrate my dad’s 83rd birthday. It was a wonderful weekend, and it was good to get (most) of the family back together. Alas, my father’s cognitive ability is slipping, and while he is accepting of the changes, it is difficult to see and handle.

While I have some spare time, I am going to begin to document my recollections of growing up, and as much as I can remember.

I am doing this for myself, and my family, so if the posts get too mundane, I apologize in advance. You have been warned.

Introduction

My parents settled in Sunnyvale California when they were first married. The stories I was told indicated that their house was surrounded by fruit orchards at the time, and slowly (or not so slowly) the neighborhood was developed.

The infamous Blue CubeMy dad worked at Lockheed Missiles and Space in Sunnyvale (near the “Blue Cube”) and was in the computer department there. Of course, computers in the 1960’s were quite a bit different than today, and he worked on all sorts of cool things that he couldn’t talk about, as Lockheed was a defense contractor, and infosec was the name of the game.

I remember from a young age, on payday, my mother would drive us down to Lockheed, and we would get his paycheck at the gate, and then head to Wells Fargo bank in Sunnyvale to deposit.

Strange how this flotsam and jetsam of memory associations appear. I hadn’t thought about that in decades, yet it is quite vivid.

Anyway, I remember the Lockheed open house, one day a year where the family of the employees visit, presumably all classified information was hidden and locked away, and we played primitive computer games, printed ASCII art on their line printers, and were in awe of the latest and greatest acquisition to their computer lab.

These are fond memories, and I am glad to share. Enough for part one though. Next up – early memories.