Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Case of the Missing Slide Projector

The painted and updated home of Frances and Mort, Playa del Rey

My Uncle Mort passed away in December of 2016 at the age of 99. Definitely, a life well-lived. His darling wife Frances passed away 5 years earlier. Last year, when my cousins, Amie, Barbara and Carol were going through Frances' and Mort's house, we all stopped by and chose a souvenir of their lives. They lived in a very large house in Playa del Rey for the past 30 years. The house was jam-packed. I was lucky enough to inherit a beautiful Monterey tiled table and bench. 
Later last year, my cousins hired a company to hold an estate sale for the rest of the items. Even though Larry and I didn't need or want anything else, of course we went to the estate sale. We always go to estate sales. I turned up a few needlepoint pillows and one needlepoint canvas that were nice. I like the "F" for Frances. The signal flag pillow reminds me of my Dad's and Uncle's love of boating.

On the last day of the sale, Larry was looking in the storage area next to the garage. He found a box of slides. Being a photographer and historian, Larry loves old photos and slides, especially of the Los Angeles area. Finding this box was a plus, because this was MY family! Larry noticed that the slides each had a metal frame surrounding them. 
Airequipt automatic slide magazine with aluminum slide holders

Larry has been a photographer long enough to know that we needed a special slide projector to be able to view these mounted slides. Larry looked in Mort's garage, storage room and a few closets and could not find any slide projectors. The estate sale guy gave us the box of slides. We took them home, held them to the light and determined that, yes, these were family photos from the late 1950s through the 1970s. Since we didn't have this particular slide projector either, Larry just set the box aside.
Last week Larry was up north in Paradise, CA visiting his brother. Naturally, he went to a few yard sales when he was in the area. Lo and behold, Larry found the exact slide projector to be able to view the Bloom family vintage slides!
Airequipt Superba 33+ Slide Projector

Over the holiday weekend, we set up the movie screen and plugged in the projector to have a look at the slides. Whoa! Those Kodachrome slides really pop! The slides taken with film other than Kodak have started to fade. Here are a few early photos of my cousins and Aunt.  Looks like they were in a park for a professional photo shoot.  I'll find out more about the particulars of these photos once my sweet cousins have had a chance to see them.
Carol and Frances
Frances, Barbara and Amie. I LOVE Amie's expression!

WOW! Aunt Frances was such a glamour girl! What a babe! The photos above look to be about 1958 or so. It seems like they returned to the same park for more pictures a few years later.
Barbara, Carol, Amie and Frances
Barbara, Carol and Amie....almost grown up!

My favorite set of photos are a few from the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. Sadly, these were not taken with Kodachrome film, so they have faded.
Carol at the Farmers Market. You can see the clock tower in the background.
Carol and Frances at Gill's Old Fashioned Ice Cream, Farmers Market
Gill's Ice Cream in 2017, when it closed. Sigh.
My beautiful Aunt Frances in her pop-art sweater! Notice the sign on the building behind Frances has the same colors as her sweater. Who took this photo?!?

To see MORE of these vintage photos, click HERE
Frances and Mort, 2007. Photo by ME

Thank you to my sweet husband, Larry for finding this great box o' slides and for searching out just the right projector so we could view them!

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