Unique Perspectives" reminded me of this story from many moons ago.
Soon after I graduated from college and just a couple months before I began my first job as a newspaper reporter, I had the great privilege of spending the month of March in Europe.
I toted around a Minolta SLR that my Uncle Simon had given me and I had it with me when I went to visit the Lourve. I completely exhausted myself roaming the halls of that museum and was thrilled with some of the photographs I was able to snap. I vaguely recall photography was not exactly encouraged.
But the best shot of the entire trip was one I got of a museum guard fast asleep in a pose similar to a reclining sculpture. I just beamed with pride as I went to catch the Metro to get back to the apartment where I was staying.
Unfortunately, in my stupor and distraction, I got off at the wrong stop and realized I was completely lost. I figured I'd better get my bearings by going outside, and on my way, I decided to rewind the roll of 35 mm film I had finished at the Louvre.
The sound was hideous and horrible and I knew exactly what it meant. Somehow, the film had pulled off the spokes and had completely ripped and jammed in the camera. I found a semi-dark spot and I placed the camera under my big bulky red coat to a try to get it out without exposing it.
Didn't work--and I was devastated. Exhausted, lost, and devastated. I don't exactly have a poker face, so I'm sure I looked like a sad little urchin in a scarlet coat. I slowly climbed the stairs to get outside and sat myself down on a window ledge on a corner and hung my head, nearly in tears.
It was indeed a site for sore eyes and I was taking in the neoclassical beauty, when a finely dressed woman walked by, took one look at me, reached into her purse, and handed me several coins.
I sat there flabbergasted. It was all too much. The long day, the lost film, the lost self, the incredible view of the church, and the kind gesture of a complete stranger.
Eventually, I found my way back to my host home, still gripping those coins in my hand. I set them on the dresser and sat on the bed just staring at them. In the end, I decided that I would save them forever (I'm pretty sure in my 20s I thought I would live forever!) as a remembrance of French generosity toward a complete stranger.
And in the end, they have served as a far better memento than the photo I lost. Besides, who knows, the photo may have gotten one tired guard in a lot of trouble!
Or ended up in Pyzahn's post!
Oh, and the SLR? Little stinker slipped out of my hands in the Notre Dame Cathedral, crashed on the stone floor, and quit working for the next week. Trouble maker! Now my little point and shoot . . .
Image 1 from Wikipedia
Image 1 from Wikipedia
Image 3 from Julie70
Image 2 from usmint.gov