Isn’t she cute? Mom didn’t own the movie camera yet (in fact, she wasn’t even a mom yet) when the above photo was taken (I believe in my Grandma and Grandpa Harmsen’s kitchen). She would have only been 19 years old and married to my dad for just over a year in 1956.
I think my sister has Mom’s Brownie still camera (from the picture) today; but the movie camera no longer exists. The manual that came with it, though, was packed away in the same cardboard box that Mom stored the family movies in.
Mom always bought film at Stoffel’s Drug Store on Main Street in Waupun. The movie camera and projector that we used to view the films came from Stoffel’s, too. I have no recollection of Stoffel’s, but my oldest brother remembers it. I looked online in Waupun and state historical archives for information about the store but didn’t find much there. But once again eBay came through for me; that’s where I found this postcard:
It shows Main Street in Waupun, in what I’m guessing was the 1960s, judging by the cars. (There’s no date on the postcard.) The Stoeffel Drug Store sign is hanging on the south side of Main Street in the building that Radio Shack is in today.
My parents also bought their first Polaroid camera from Stoffel’s, and the clerk who waited on them took a picture of my dad and my sister in the store to show them the miracles of the Polaroid Land Camera. (You snapped a picture, pulled it out of the camera, waited 60 seconds and then peeled the paper off and, voila: instant photo.) I believe that picture still exists somewhere in the Friese family archives, but I looked high and low through my mom’s house last weekend and couldn’t find it. I would have loved to have included it in this post, because in addition to featuring Dad in his cool horn-rimmed glasses, the photo offered a glimpse of the inside of the store back in the day.
Mom gave the old projector to my son recently, and he has it displayed in his movie-themed apartment (which I blogged about here).
Unfortunately we haven’t watched the movies in a long time because the bulb in the projector is burnt out. But I have been scouring eBay for replacement bulbs in between writing this post, and it looks like there are a few out there. So hopefully we can revisit some of Mom’s best work (like “Summer of ’69” and “Lisa’s Baptism”) again soon.