News Relevant to FTB Members

Gerry Monteux & His Amazing Photos

Pity my poor parents.  They’re not “with us” any more, but that’s not why I pity them.  They each had a good, long run on this planet, living into their mid-eighties, but it’s what they had to put up with in the early going that troubles me now.

You see, I spent my formative years on Taunton Bay, and when I was roughly seven years old my folks made the fateful decision to give me a camera.  It was a Brownie Hawkeye, made by Kodak. Film, naturally. Now, I’m not sure if they bought it new or just found it up in the attic when they were scrounging around, looking for cigarettes or vodka or their Lenny Bruce records, but the key was – they gave it me.  It was MINE. And that’s where things went a little haywire for them.  

I’m not sure they really thought this thing through, because not only did my parents have to pay for each roll of that “Kodak 620 film”, they also had to shell out money to have each roll developed.  And trust me when I tell you:  I went through a LOT of film that summer!  As I recall, when they gave me the camera, they did NOT say something sensible like,

Now, son, we don’t want you running around taking pictures of everything.  Because it’ll cost us a small fortune to buy your film and mail it away to be developed.  So, be selective, okay? You know we’re not made of money, right, son?”

Nope.  They didn’t say that.  But I guarantee they wish they had.  Why? Because I took that camera and film and started running around taking pictures of everything.  Leaves? Cool! Rocks? You betcha! Tree bark? Yup. Dead spiders? Hell, yes! And why not? They didn’t say I couldn’t, did they??  

Yeah, thanks to me and my new expensive obsession, the folks had to wait to buy that ’62 Nash Rambler they had their eye on.  And little things like food became an issue. Luckily, it was summer and we lived in the woods, so clothing was optional.

Now, this is what the Brownie Hawkeye looked like:

It’s important to note its shape and other inherent inadequacies.  For a seven-year old, this was a cool little gizmo. Plus, did I mention it was free?  And it was perfectly fine for taking shots of pretty much anything except what I really wanted to photograph.  That would be: wild animals.  Using this thing, if I tried to photograph any critter that moved faster than, say, a razor clam, I was outta luck.

So, this is a rather roundabout way of announcing what I’m up to now.  A lot of things have changed over the past 57 years. Yes, my folks are gone, but I still live on Taunton Bay.  I still have the old trusty Hawkeye, but now it’s sitting on a shelf and doubles as a fascinating conversation piece.  Often, on slow nights at home, I’ll talk to it.  

And I still take a TON of pictures, but now I do it for a living, and I’ve finally become a bit more selective (no thanks to my poor parents) in what I shoot.  I made enough money over the years to be able to buy a bunch of professional photo gear. This includes a wide variety of lenses which allow me to photograph wild animals that are, say, alive.  To wit:

                                                  

Oh, yeah – landscapes, too.  And other stuff: