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Stolen Camera Returned to Teacher - 25 Years Later
Old 04-28-2006   #1
bmattock
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Stolen Camera Returned to Teacher - 25 Years Later

Just an interesting, camera-related story. Thought you'd enjoy reading it.

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Bill Mattocks

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...75/1008/NEWS01

Quote:
Friday, April 28, 2006

Byron Crawford
Victim of theft now has a smile for her camera
By Byron Crawford
[email protected]
The Courier-Journal

A mysterious package left in the office at Nelson County High School was marked only "FRAGILE" on four sides — with art teacher Anne Zabenco's name on the top.

No one was sure who had left the package, but it had not arrived in the mail. Office staffers assumed that someone had left it on the counter during the morning rush when students were arriving.

"I'd had a really rough day that day -- and after I picked it up and was walking down the hall with another teacher on the way back to my room, I laughed and said, "It's probably a bomb -- because that would go with the rest of my day," said Zabenco, who is in her 28th year of teaching.

Back in class, after her students got busy, Zabenco opened the package.

'Quite a shock'
Inside she found a carefully wrapped old box camera, once owned by a great-uncle who was a photographer. The camera had been given to her many years ago, but had been stolen from her classroom at Old Kentucky Home, another school where she had taught in Bardstown, 25 years earlier.

"It was quite a shock," she said. "But it was a good shock -- that warm, wonderful feeling that just goes all over you."

An unsigned note was attached:

"Mrs. Zabenco,

"I do not know why I stole this from your class probably 25 years ago. I was having problems at home and was not thinking. I have never stole in my life before, or after this. I have taken good care of it and always wanted to give it back. You were a very good teacher and I have nothing but good memories of you. I am sorry. God bless you."

Zabenco remembered that she had brought the old camera to her ninth-grade class to use as a demonstration prop for a project in which the students were making "pinhole cameras." She was team-teaching a careers unit and had turned her storage room into a darkroom. One afternoon she discovered that her camera had disappeared.

"As far as its value goes, it's just sentimental," she said. "I know they must have been a dime a dozen back in the '50s and '60s, even though they were made much earlier."

She can't recall exactly what she said to the class about the camera's disappearance at the time it was stolen, but she is certain that the students got a lecture.

"At the time I was one of those little hot-headed teachers, so I'm sure I made an absolute fool of myself with the class over getting it back," she said. "I probably scared the person so bad that that's why they waited 25 years to return it."

Bruce England, the Nelson County schools' community relations director, said it's the first time in his memory of 31 years with the school system that he can recall any stolen item being returned.

Identity unknown
Zabenco has no idea who might have returned the camera, but she assumes the person still lives in the Bardstown area.

"I feel sure that they're a pretty good person," she said. "I want so badly for the person who kept the camera to know that I have it, and that I'm not mad about it and holding a grudge.

"They were so sweet to say that they thought I was a good teacher and that they had liked me. It was just very heartwarming to me, and probably at the time, that day, it was the highlight of my teaching career."
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Old 04-28-2006   #2
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Aaah, bless!

Pinhole cameras in schools, eh? Temporary darkrooms? Those were the days...

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Old 04-28-2006   #3
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Nice story. Especially good to know that someone was good enough to have kept it in good condition and then was good enough to return it. Probably kept the straighter for having felt bad that one time.

We humans can be good after all. Have to wonder if the person was inspired to get into photography also.
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Old 04-28-2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markinlondon
Aaah, bless!

Pinhole cameras in schools, eh? Temporary darkrooms? Those were the days...

Mark
We did pinhole photography in science class in 4th grade. However, our grade school (grades 1-6) had a baseball, basketball, track, and shooting team. We had an indoor rifle range in the basement of the school. Nowadays, that seems so alien.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 04-28-2006   #5
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a middle school in my city currently has a shooting range, too.. ironically, the majority of students aren't aware of it, even tho there is a sign right above the door saying "Shooting Range".. guess the students can't read
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Old 04-28-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFriday
a middle school in my city currently has a shooting range, too.. ironically, the majority of students aren't aware of it, even tho there is a sign right above the door saying "Shooting Range".. guess the students can't read
I bet they're not allowed lethal things like photo chemicals, though

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Old 04-28-2006   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markinlondon
I bet they're not allowed lethal things like photo chemicals, though

Mark
And here's why:

Quote:
http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/9056716/detail.html

Chemical First Thought To Be Nerve Gas
Hazmat Incident Puts Neighborhood On Alert

POSTED: 8:04 pm MDT April 27, 2006

...[snip]...

Hazmat crews suited up in chemical gear to get a closer look, using equipment to help them pinpoint the liquid. They determined it was not as dangerous as originally thought but could still pose a threat.

"It was a photographic solution, slightly acidic, can be irritant to lungs if it's inhaled directly," said Pritchard.
OK, who done it? Who put their spent fixer in 5 gallon buckets and left them in the parking lot of a shopping center in El Paso, TX?

Better not have been one of us!

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Bill Mattocks
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Old 04-28-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
And here's why:



OK, who done it? Who put their spent fixer in 5 gallon buckets and left them in the parking lot of a shopping center in El Paso, TX?

Better not have been one of us!

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
'Twasn't me, it would take me all year to get through 5 gallons of fixer, even your tiny US Gallons

Might have been stop bath. I attended a printing course where stop bath was not allowed as it was (gasp) acetic acid. Strangely there was vinegar in bottles on the tables in the canteen, just sitting there. I mean, people might have put it on their chips or something dangerous like that

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Old 04-28-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFriday
a middle school in my city currently has a shooting range, too.. ironically, the majority of students aren't aware of it, even tho there is a sign right above the door saying "Shooting Range".. guess the students can't read
Maybe the students feel it's a disciplinary thing....
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Old 04-28-2006   #10
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Can you imagine the joy if the camera had been a rare Leica! Still, it is the principle that counts. However, ....
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Old 04-28-2006   #11
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Can you imgine the shock of most of them when they find that Rodinal has the same active ingredientas the hair dye they use....
that they use HCA for dechlorination of pools, and fixer inagriculture?



Quote:
Originally Posted by markinlondon
'Twasn't me, it would take me all year to get through 5 gallons of fixer, even your tiny US Gallons

Might have been stop bath. I attended a printing course where stop bath was not allowed as it was (gasp) acetic acid. Strangely there was vinegar in bottles on the tables in the canteen, just sitting there. I mean, people might have put it on their chips or something dangerous like that

Mark
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Old 04-28-2006   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
We did pinhole photography in science class in 4th grade. However, our grade school (grades 1-6) had a baseball, basketball, track, and shooting team. We had an indoor rifle range in the basement of the school. Nowadays, that seems so alien.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
At my prep school in the UK (that's a private school for age 8 to 13, roughly) in the 50s, we had a 25-yard open-air range for .22 rifles. We could begin to learn to shoot from age about 10. At my high school (age 13 to 18, roughly) we had both an indoor small-bore range and an outdoor range for .303 at 200 and 500 yards. The .303 was the British service rifle in those days. We used to cycle to the outdoor range along a major (for the UK) highway, with the .303 slung over our shoulders - unloaded, of course, but no-one turned a hair in those days, and no-one got shot! Times have changed. Such behaviour today would trigger a nuclear alert.
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Old 04-28-2006   #13
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Wow an indoor rifle range in school. Never heard of that before. Never will see it again I am sure.
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Old 04-28-2006   #14
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There was an indoor .22 caliber range at my high school as well but it had been closed down before I started in 65'. My scout troop summer camp also had a small caliber range and a number of single shot bolt action rifles for scouts to qualify for the merit badge.
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Old 04-28-2006   #15
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There is (was) a rifle range in the basement of the high school in Flin Flon Manitoba when I was in high school. It's likely still there. Back in the late 60's it was entirely normal to walk through town with our .22's on the way to the bush to shoot whatever moved!
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Old 04-28-2006   #16
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In this day and age I'm almost suprised that they didn't call the bomb squad and blow up her little camera on the spot rather than take a chance on opening the mysterious package.
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Old 04-29-2006   #17
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I was on our high school rifle team. This was over 50 years ago but during a three month renovation of the storage area we were given our rifles to store at home. I was too young to drive so I rode the school bus with my cased .22. No one thought any more of that than the kids who rode with their cased band instruments.
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Old 04-29-2006   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFriday
a middle school in my city currently has a shooting range, too.. ironically, the majority of students aren't aware of it, even tho there is a sign right above the door saying "Shooting Range".. guess the students can't read
Middle school- they aren't reading it because they are reading each other.

It's amazing what lots of fresh hormones do to one's ability to see and hear.
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