Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dark Cloth Rebuild.

Giving up on a barn at Marblehead during the National Matches at Camp Perry with Katie.

With it over my shoulder as a child in New Mexico on a Spring Break Trip in the late 70s with Ken Sigman.

After a barn roof in Clarksville early this Spring while doe-tagging with Dr. Sneed.

 Way back, in a previous century, long ago when I was a child at college at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, the photo/graphic department was moving a linotype machine out of a space that had been blacked out by a thick black curtain.  The linotype and the curtain looked like they had been there for years.  The curtain was torn down and headed for the trash.  I stepped in and began to rip it into darkcloths for anyone who wanted one.  I'm sure I passed out eight or ten big rectangles of thick, dusty black material.  Nancy and Vickie were handy with sewing machines and hemmed and lined them for several of us.  I had mine backed with white.  I even had an owl feather sewn in.  That was about 1974.

  I've used it exclusively all these years.  Wrapped up in it at Shiprock, packed it around Yosemite, in New Mexico at Canyon De Chelly.  Chris Johnson and I used it for cover at 8900 feet and 49 degree weather when we got stranded overnight going for the Diving Board at Yosemite.  I've taken naps on it, used it as a pillow, but mostly it's lived a career with my Deardorff, in and out of an old used case I bought in Houston or in the camera backpack.  Once in New Mexico my Deardorff survived a Gitzo tripod faceplant down a long slope because it was swaddled in the darkcloth. 

Climber's Cave, Shiprock, this year.

After the Black Giant, Shiprock, this year.

Lake Erie, 2011.

Last year or so it's really gotten rough around the edges.  Even has a hole or two through the middle.  It doesn't have an easy life.  Katie has a little Philipino woman who is a wonder with a sewing machine so today I turned it over to her to repair and rebuild.  Adding a black layer, re-hemming the edge.  I've got a perfect Calumet darkcloth thats never seen a negative made, but I prefer the old one.  Hope it comes through in an incarnation that I like.  It's certainly been a reliable companion.

Update:  30 bucks.  And boy did she do a great job!  Now off to Shiprock in the morning.

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