The Idea for MangoFalls – Abridged Version
Back in 1996 while living in Oregon, I came across an old Nikon rangefinder in a seaside junk shop. The metal body was battered and the lens looked like a coke bottle that had been dragged down 5 miles of asphalt. The camera had been dead a long time. I was about to set it down when I noticed that there was a roll of film inside. I slowly rewound the film, popped the door, and was rewarded with a pristine roll of Kodachrome. I asked the guy at the counter how much he wanted for it. “Gimme a quarter” he replied. I paid the man and drove home with the mystery roll. And then I forgot about it for 2 years. The roll of film came back into view after we once again sold most of what we owned, tossed the dogs into the Jeep, and moved back to Maine. One day I was unpacking some clothes and found the solitary roll of film waiting at the bottom of the box. I sent it off for processing….about a year later.
Two weeks later the box of slides showed up at the post office. The weight of the package was disappointing. Without even opening the container it was apparent that most if not all of the roll was not even worth of being mounted. The 5 or so images that were in slide mounts were simply amazing. I had no idea where the film had been shot. I had not even the slightest idea who the people in the photos were. I really knew nothing but was just floored by the color saturation that kodachrome had retained after all the years of sitting in that old Nikon. From that point forward I made an effort to look inside old cameras whenever we would stop in antique stores and Sunday flea markets. All it took was this one image from that first roll of film.
How Are the Images Chosen?
Deciding what slides are scanned and processed for use on the site is a time consuming process. We’ve reviewed thousands of old vintage slides and the one common element I’d like the images to have would be people. Landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes can be beautiful but I feel the best part of this project is seeing how people looked in the 1950’s through 1970’s. The dress and decor of those times is visually interesting. The Kodachrome that was so popular during these decades only adds to the quality. I also meet regularly with our resident photo expert, Willow, who offers advice on what she feels is worth of being on the site.
Do You Actually Have All of These Slides?
Yes, we certainly do. We have the physical slide for every image that is posted on MangoFalls. You’ll want to note that these images are displayed in this manner for entertainment purposes only. We’re not posting these for reuse in any manner but instead as a historical archive. If you happen to know someone in one of the photos or were the photographer, please let us know. I’m sure others would be very interested in hearing the back story of what was happening when the photo was taken.