A few collected news chum stories today about things that have either gone away or are going away, but are fondly remembered:
- From the “(insert Paul Simon lyric here)” Department: Of course, we start with the obligatory story about Kodachrome. Specifically, the story about the last roll of Kodachrome being processed, and the processing machinery being shut down. Oh, what a film it was. Those nice bright colors. The greens of summer. It makes you think all the world’s a sunny day. But then again: who uses film anymore? I have a collection of 35mm cameras that are sitting and collecting dust. So Kodachrome: I’ll see those nice bright colors in a photo book.
- From the “Casting About” Department: The San Francisco Chronicle has a nice article on Fellowship Foundary, a metalworks that are still making objects from pewter. These were the household utensils of old, but today you see them primarily at Renaissance Faires, churches, and the occasional Wilson Armetale Serving Pieces. The article notes that in 2000, the United States had 2,800 metal foundries, but now the number has dropped to 2,060, a decline of 26%.
- From the “Saving the Sentries” Department: Many years ago, the LA skyline featured the spectacular Richfield building, a black-sided, gold-trimmed landmark that was topped by an oil-derrick tower and served as a monument to petroleum (for those that don’t recall, Richfield was the original R in ARCO). This building was torn down in 1968, but a number of the terra-cotta 1½ ton sentries from the building were saved. The LA Times has a nice article about the owner of one of them, and how he is looking for the others.
- From the “Pocket Change” Department: Coins. We all carry them, but we don’t realize how filthy they are. Those who remember old Vegas know the filth, for it covered anything to do with slot machines. Well a long time ago a hotel in San Francisco decided to do something about it, and started washing its coins. They still do it today, and the SF Chronicle has a nice piece on the fellow who does the washing. So, if you are in the City and get a bright shiny coin, you quite likely know where it has been recently.