When I was a kid, the only time I ventured into Brooklyn, was when my father took me to his office, a photography plant at 115 Myrtle Avenue, known as "Colorama", a part of Stork Photo Studios.
I have vague memories of the interior; none of the exterior. I was given something like 25 cents to stamp envelopes with postage, or names or something, I don't remember which, and sometimes I helped with the stock room. I used to love to watch the ladies--they were always ladies--in the color room. This was the days before color photography and color meant quite literally, people with cotton balls and q-tips giving a patina of the rainbow to baby faces in a windowless room. Thinking of that time from today's perspective, it is pretty pre-Flood stuff.
By the time I was going there, Dad had been there since just after World War II, so I am guessing close to 20 years. He sure looks like someone important in the Mad Men suit. I didn't know what he did there. But he seemed pretty important, and it was all right for me to be there, helping or sitting in the dingy conference room with a coke machine that brought out the kinds of bottles that are kitsch today.
On the other hand, there is something disconcerting that he was categorized with "Some of the People You Never See". I understand though. He wasn't a salesman, so he wouldn't be seen by the parents of the children seeking (or being pressured into) wallet size shots and plates covered with their children's faces (yes, they put you on a plate; I still have one of mine).
The "President" was Charlie Shapiro, here calling himself Charlie Sharp, for reasons no doubt related to the reality of prejudice that hamper human nature. I am assuming this publicity handout was done sometime in the 1950s, as it refers to a car from 1954, that might be a used car--I can't tell. But one thing is true; this is all I have that is tangible of the place. I know it went out of business around 1965, because my father, then getting close to fifty years of age, had to start looking for a new career. I also know that the original building is gone--at least according to my Google Search, replaced by something shinier in 2002.
As places, and people, seem to flicker into the past, I find myself ever more nostalgic.
The modern gnostics will tell you that those days were not good; that now, with all the nasty bickering and posturing, is better, more enlightened. There was, I keep hearing, nothing good about the good old days.
It was imperfect, because people were imperfect; evils were done. Evils have been done since the day Adam and Eve got kicked out of Paradise. And though--as many of us believe, but clearly fewer and fewer than in those days gone by--we have had our relationship to God restored--now mankind has to decide to accept that relationship instead of deeming itself a godhead. It's not looking good.
Personally, I am not that crazy about the times in which we are living. I sound like my father. I suppose it comes to all of us.