Saturday, December 29, 2007

Time travel is possible...


I've spent the last few hours going back in time.

I was a missionary in Italy from 1981 to 1983. During that time I lived in six different cities, visited a dozen more, none of which are particularly interesting to the average tourist, though Palermo comes close. Anyway, I shot about twenty-five rolls of Kodachrome 64 with an old Olympus XA2, which had a fantastic lens but not much else to brag about. It was a sweet little camera, and fit nicely in a pocket.

Now I am digging through the slides and digitizing them. They're dusty, have some color stability issues, but they're still good enough, so I'll be scanning, sorting, cleaning, and cataloging them over the next few months.

It really is taking me back in time. When I scanned a particular picture of a market, I could remember exactly what it smelled like, the weather, everything was as if it were a few hours ago.

This shot was taken in Alberobello, a village known for its trulli, a type of dry-stacked stone building that is fairly unique in Italy. The design is of Etruscan origin, most likely, but no one really knows.

Trulli are really cool. I used to love to visit Alberobello for many reasons. One was the funny little bar where we would buy ice cream...the most horrid little prepackaged drumsticks and popsicles, all in the land of gelato. I also loved the rapido train that went from Bari and stopped at every cow path to pick up anything that waved it down.

P.S. Rapido, though it means "quick," really means slow in the parlance of the Ferrovie Statale (or state railway). There is no train slower than a rapido. I think it's sort of like the big box stores, which have nicely marketed categories like "performance line" or "elite line" or "economy line." They never have a category called "This is a piece of crap made to make everything else look good."

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