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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: February photos and 'This Old House'

By JOHN HALL/MISSOURIAN READER
February 21, 2012 | 10:08 a.m. CST
Contributor John Hall snapped this shot on a drive through Columbia's back roads on Saturday.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with MyMissourian.com for several years.

The time between late winter and early spring is a bleak time. Yesterday the English Cockers and the old dog took a drive out to inspect a couple of back roads. We didn't see much except old buildings in the distance and an animal or two crossing the road in front of us. One animal looked to be about the size of a dog, but when I tried to photograph it, my reflex time of getting the camera from truck seat to my eye was not too good. I got a blurry photo of it and passed it off as a big dog or coyote.

When I got home I tried blowing up the photo to see what kind of dog it was. With the blurry image it appeared to me to be an animal with a catlike head, about an 8" tail and the body of a dog. I was going to include it in this batch but decided controversy is something I don't need. I sure don't want to be like the people who claim to have seen all the monsters that roam the earth and swim in the depths of some lake and sane people look at them as if they have a few lug nuts clanging around in their hubcaps.

So, in the spirit of nothing controversial I've included some things that indicate spring might arrive someday and also some other photos to prove nothing lasts forever and their springs are almost over, forever.

I've had a friend for over two decades that I've photographed nearly every time I've passed by. In recent months my friend seemed to be in falling if not failing health. Yesterday, I took the time to stop and ask the old guy how he was doing, and although he claimed to be hanging in there, it is only by the cement in his bones and the moss on his roof. If any of you have paid attention to my photos over the years, you have seen him in pretty good condition. He's now at least 150 to 160 years old, and Stuart Hamblen wrote the greatest lines ever about an structure like that in his hit "This Old House." Bring that up on YouTube and look at those photos as you listen to Hamblen sing it. Don't, whatever you do, pull up the Rosemary Clooney version. That is a very cheap substitute and has nothing of the flavor that Hamblen had to offer the song. Besides, I spent some time with Mr. Hamblen one evening in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Rosemary and I never spoke in our lives.

Well, that's it for another photo session. About the photos sent recently with the discourse regarding my outdated Nikon since the newer versions hit the market. I want to thank all of you but one for nothing. Only one person suggested I go ahead and get that new camera. The rest of you are like my wife who thinks what I have is plenty good enough. So, in short, I've concluded that I'd die with the same wife and camera that I now own. Never again will I call upon the recipients of these photos to "help me out" in trying to convince my wife I need a new toy.  

I just thought of something. At present, no one can be taking photos with a Nikon camera that are any good. If all the old camera technology is outdated and since all the new cameras are still on back order, then nobody can be taking the "best" photos and by simple logic my photos are by definition still "pretty good." Now, when the cameras start being shipped in a few weeks then these photos will revert to being "ugly bad."

Be sure you played the Stuart Hamblen story of the old house. I saw the same old house on Saturday.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how.