|In high school I signed up for photography, but as it turned out my father became the student. It was an elective and I chose it because it fit my schedule, but I did not really connect with it. My father, who had never had any special interest in photography beyond taking family pictures, read up on it and tried to get me engaged with it, but I was young and stubborn and just wouldn’t. Well, leading a horse to water and all that. He pursued his own path without me, buying better cameras and setting up a darkroom in the attic. Long after the class was over he was taking photos of family, friends, random moments that appealed to him, and many, many nature scenes. We had a whole wall in the house covered with his photos. He entered local contests and won a few.
The darkroom was in a bathroom that had not been used in years. There was an old bathtub with claw feet that he used to spread out the photos as they dried. This room became a special place in our house. I remember the big trays with two different kinds of liquid in them; the vinegary aroma; the enlarger that looks like a microscope in my memory, though I doubt it really did; the darkness all around us. It was all part of a kind of magic my father made, that I blundered him into.