I Lost More Than My Camera

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5700_2.jpgYesterday was a great day to take photographs here in Vermont. Just a few passing clouds scudded by allowing bright, clear light to bounce off all the pale yellows, greens and reds that are announcing buds on all the trees and shrubs.

I took a drive down River Road and caught a nice shot of an elderly couple sitting together under a tree next to the Battenkill River. Framed by the wispy yellows of the willow, they sat reading books as the stream rolled by. The belted cows were out too� they get a snap or two every time I have the camera with me.

I stopped to pick up some milk at the Price Chopper on the way home. When I returned to the car and put the container down on the passenger seat, I immediately realized that the Nikon was gone.

I've gotten used to not locking the car around town when I go into a store or to a doctor's appointment. The exception is when I have packages or something of value in the car with me. In my travels yesterday I stopped and locked the car in four other locations and I thought I had locked it at the Price Chopper. In retrospect, I probably clicked the �unlock� rather than the �lock� button.

So the passenger door was slightly open and the Nikon was gone. It could have been anyone � the skater kids who should have been in school, the guy in the pickup who had been parked next to me, or housewife passing the car on her way into the market. It doesn't matter, I want to strangle whoever it was. Not so much for the loss of my camera, but for the loss of my innocence.

People who know me well would describe me as a tad cynical. Okay, maybe more than a tad. So you'd think that there wasn't much innocence left to lose at my age. But in all the years that I've been visiting and now living in Vermont I had come to know a real difference in the general attitude and behavior of the people here. Sure, I know that crime exists and crap happens here just like in other places, but it seemed more distant and rare.

People here tend to know each other more if for no other reason than there are many fewer people to know � if not personally, then by sight. There are a whole cadre of people who I think of as my supermarket acquaintances. We see each other all the time, say hello, talk about purchases and the weather. Must of us don't know each other's names, but that doesn't diminish the smiles of hello when we see each other again near the dairy aisle. So there is a real downside to stealing something � there is a decent chance you know the person from whom you are stealing. They may be the person who stopped their car to let you cross the street, who moved aside at the bookstore to let you get to a shelf, or who bought a raffle ticket for your high school team fund-raiser.

So here's a message to the bastard who stole my camera. I hope you realize that each time you lift it to your eye to snap a photo it will suck a bit of the soul out of your body. Each picture you print will be stained with an ugliness that Photoshop can't edit out. Every click of the shutter will snip a little more of your humanity away.

I'll buy another camera and will be out shooting in a week or so. But now, each time I compose a shot, I'll be paying a little less attention to the light and a bit more to the shadow and that makes me sad - and a bit more cynical.

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I wonder if mass meme might get it back? Sigh. So here's a message to the bastard who stole my camera. I hope you realize that each time you lift it to your eye to snap a photo it will... Read More

10 Comments

you think it's possible that those dopes are selling it on ebay?

That always possible, thought it's just the camera and a 256MB CF card with no cables, charger, software, etc. I'll have to check in periodically to see if it crops up. I don't have much hope that it will reappear but, like I said in the post, in a small community less goes unnoticed. We'll see...

I understand that feeling. I've been living in a place where I haven't locked the door of my house for the last twelve years. The place has grown to the point that perhaps I should start, but I am loath to do so, as the sense of trust and belonging will leave with the turn of the key.

I gotta say, though, that I pretty much always lock up the car - that's the New Yorker left in me.

I don't know which story is easier to believe: Corie's posting about naked tree-sitters in Central Park OR Bob is becoming even more cynical.

Never underestimate the potential cynicism quotient of a Trancho!

yeah, I was so cynical that I thought that I couldn't get more cynical. (Then again, I haven't read the newspaper yet today...) Now I'm so cynical that I EXPECT to become more cynical.

i couldn't help but be a bit saddened by this event. i think bob, much like you for the loss of innocence. every time i have been up there, i kind of check my urban guard, and give over to the peacefulness, and the serenity that is there (partially coming from you i would like to appreciate and add). somehow that is a little lost. it reminds me of some of the television ads (leave it to me to tie it into tv) on drugs. where drugs are all around kids in every neighborhood, and really don't know the difference in classes, economy, etc. here it is, rearing it's ugly head again. i am so sorry for the loss of your camera, and really hope that in the future, that when you take your pictures, that shadow will diminish over time. don't let this get the best of you, as your kind, gentle loving demeanor shines through in your creative works (and for that matter cories)

i will post this, realizing how sappy it is, but know it is from the heart

It's good to hear from you and sappy is good - expecially from you. Maybe you can get up here some time this summer and we will manage to get some very sunny shots!

Sorry about the Nikon. I have an old Nikon SLR I took to Africa. If someone stole it I would miss it. Kind of like losing an old friend.
As they say in New York, don't let the turkeys bring you down. I do believe karmic justice prevails. Many times I hum or sing the lyrics to John Lennon's "Instant Karma" and try to let whatever has affected me go. Then there are the times I get my voodoo doll and.... Well, anyway,
I do believe what goes around comes around. I've seen it many times. Have faith, "instant karma's gonna get you, gonna knock you off your feet."
Perhaps at the very moment your shooting the perfect picture. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hmm, this post is way after the fact, but man has it been a bad month for cameras. Companion Christine spent a couple hun. getting our old Pentax fixed up (my parents bought it used to snap their honeymoon 35 yrs ago) and she left it in a taxi the very day she picked it up...very sad. Heaping (com)post onto post partum, someone stole her very expensive (too expensive for this neighborhood)bike right from our landing on the third floor--we suspect a boyfriend of our across the hall neighbor but the police are all tied up with murders and al qaeda and such. These is the blues. Sigh.

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This page contains a single entry by published on April 23, 2004 7:46 AM.

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