I can remember the exact moment it happened. I was on my way back from New York state in a blinding snowstorm and I had been heading up to see my kids when the weather got so bad I turned around and headed back to Jersey. Somewhere on the highway I took a pretty good ass end shot from somebody in a Chevelle and we ended up in Cortland under the supervision of a very bored New York State troop.
It had done a pretty good number on the rear of my Ford Fairlane-which I hated with a passion, it being something of a symbol of my failed marriage. So home we went, this time on state roads because the highway was closed down and we ended up back in South Plainfield about 20 hours later.
Sometime that spring, an insurance check arrived in the mail and my firend at the body shop told me "Forget about this car and do something nice for yourself."
Not long after that I went with Richie to one of the photo shops in Manhattan, laid out a couple hundred bucks, and took home the Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic II, which was to be my constant companion for ten years until someone decided they needed it more than me.
Thus began a 20 year search for my soulmate....a Nikon FM was not the answer, although it is exquisite. Another Spotmatic II, although quite usable, was scraped enough that it was fatally flawed. A Canon AE1 Program came and went at a time of economic need, and another Canon AE1 Program arrived and it too is lovely. But nothing really filled the hole in my heart.
Until yesterday, when the Spotmatic II I'd bought on eBay arrived, fresh from the closet shelf of a little old man who'd loved it and left it to his daughter. It is as sweet, and fresh, and chunky, and spotless and good in the hands as I remembered number 1 to be.
The moral of the story is, it's never too late to have a happy childhood, and you can find lost loves.