1986 started off with the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy. The Rutan Voyager experimental aircraft made the world’s first non-stop flight around the globe without refueling. The Ronald Reagan presidency was mired in the Iran-Contra Affair. Mikhail Gorbachev signed major reforms in the USSR introducing Perestroika and Glasnost. I was still shooting slides.
For this installment of my informal photographic retrospective, I narrowed down a large collection of images on slides to a few that I shot in the summertime of 1986, in the state of Nebraska. These were in an off-brand carousel, stashed away in a closet. The tray had been malfunctioning, so I haven’t viewed these, myself, for at least 20 years.
After repairing the carousel, I was surprised at those photographs I had totally forgotten. These were shot on three brand names of positive exposure film: Kodachrome, Ektachrome, and Fujichrome. I don’t have a record of which images were shot on the particular films.
The image of a Northeast Nebraska meadow appears in the middle of the slide tray, so it was probably taken in mid-summer. Earlier, that summer, I spent part of my two-week vacation break in Western Nebraska. One place I wanted to visit was the Nebraska Boys Ranch, it’s a place for troubled and orphaned boys that provides a positive place to live and grow up. It’s one of my favorite charities.
The Boys Ranch is near the town of Alliance. After my visit, I stayed overnight at one of the roadside motels. The neon “S” was just outside my room. I don’t remember the name of the motel, it was probably something like “Skyline” or “Sunset”.
Later, I travelled through the Pine Ridge region in the northwest portion of the state to the Halsey National Forest. There wasn’t very much to see, except for a few scraggly trees and the ranger tower. I shot the profile of the tower after the Sun had already dipped below the horizon.
My boyfriend, at the time, and I decided to tinker around with my Canon AE-1. He had me sit still for an impromptu portrait. This one, I know, was shot on Fujichrome 100 with a zoom lens and the standard flash gun. He wrote the information on the cardboard mount after the box of slides came back from the mail order developer.
The railroad boxcars photo is simply labeled August 1986. It was probably shot somewhere in Madison County, Nebraska, but I’m not sure.
One September Saturday, I drove to the nearby town of Stanton to hunt for antiques. I liked the appearance of the old repair shop and squeezed off a couple of frames of it.
On the way back home, the “Greenslit” building caught my eye. I have no idea what the business is about.
Coming up in the near future, are more images from that same, off-brand carousel.