Camera Show

I read in the L.A. Times that a photographic show was going to be held in Pasadena. Photo equipment dealers were coming from all over the country. They rented space on a table and displayed their wares, and were going to buy and sell.

Knowing Betty had no interest, I went to the show alone. I took the Contax camera I had bought with me. I arrived at the show early, and paid the admission price of three dollars.

The place was jammed with people, buyers, sellers, alive with activity. I immediately tried to sell the old model Contax camera I had brought. Optimistic at first, after about an hour trying to peddle the camera, I got discouraged. All the dealers who looked at it with seeming interest said, “Sorry, buddy, I pass,” and handed it back to me. Then, my good luck stepped in. On my way out I showed it to a dealer almost at the door.

He looked to a dealer almost at the door, who also looked at my camera carefully.

“It may be worth more, but the best I can offer you is $1,300 dollars. Suppressing my happy feeling, I said casually, “O.K. if you throw in that light meter.”

He picked it up and handed it to me. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a large roll of $100 bills, peeled off 13 of them and handed it to me. I gave him the camera and went out the door. Suddenly, curiosity overcame me.

I went back in and spoke to him. He was a camera store owner on a buying spree for a photo store in Milan, Italy. He had a roll of $100 bills that would “choke a horse.”

I left that photographic show a happy man. My wallet was stuffed with $100 bills.

My buying and selling cameras is far in the past. An avid photographer, I have lost interest.

* * *

I took hundreds of pictures of Betty and me as we traveled around the world. 

We loved to travel.

Seeing new countries, historic places, filled us with excitement. We traveled when traveling was inexpensive. Our first trip to Europe via S.A.S. airlines in a propeller plane took 26 hours, our route was over the South Pole. We flew right after the war in an old converted Douglas plane, in bucket seats that were strapped to the sides of the plane. 

The food we were served were sandwiches lathered with about an eighth of an inch of butter. The first and second were delicious; the third was nauseating.

When we reached our destination, Copenhagen, our stomachs were aching. It took a few days and many trips to the bathroom for our systems to settle down.

Betty and I never forgot our first trip to Europe. 

August 12, 2020

Author: Morrie Markoff

Centenarian (born in 1914) who lives in Los Angeles, and is also a metal sculpture artist and the Author of "Keep Breathing," available on and other book seller sites.