Mom, look what you started

Mom’s Argus Autronic 35 Rangefinder Camera

This is Mom’s off-limits Argus Autronic 35 from the 1960s. It was her special “slide camera” and woe to any kid who touched this camera without permission. That often meant woe to me, especially after she gave my precious Kodak Instamatic to Grandpa as we left Norway in 1969. And I should stop being grumpy about it because now he’d have a camera and could send us pictures. I could always get another camera. I eyed the Argus as that replacement. I wanted the Argus. I coveted the Argus. It looked cool. It had twisty knobs. It was kinda geeky. If I had a camera like this then I would not have to pose in front of it. It was not to be. A camera wouldn’t be forthcoming for quite awhile. Photography would become my life’s work. I have been through many cameras since 1969.

I confess to have snuck some photos from time to time. Back in the ’60s, developing film was expensive. A roll might sit in the camera for half the year. I had to be careful not to finish it off. I also had to remind Mom about that time she took that photo that she didn’t remember. Mine, but hers. She probably caught on. I stopped getting into trouble. About a decade ago, she gave me the rangefinder in its original box, complete with the flash attachment that connected to the side and a few packages of bulbs (never, ever snuck). All sit on my camera shelf of fame.

Mom passed away on August 11 and would have been 96 today, August 23. My brother and I posted a photo gallery on Facebook. Some of the photos were made with this camera. Thank you for your condolences, kind expressions, memories and the variety of emojis on the gallery. All are very much appreciated.


I am a photojournalist and photo editor in eastern Idaho.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dear Cindy,
    What an Awesome story! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi, cuz. Thanks for reading.

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