Forgotten Film

My husband and I recently cleaned out our closet, always a bigger ordeal than desired and a project that inevitably gets worse before it gets better. Fortune was on our side, however,Β  and we discovered a few undeveloped rolls of film. Neither of us had any recollection of what might be on these rolls and I was beyond giddy to see what forgotten memories had been documented.

Incidentally, several months ago my guy found rolls of film at an estate sale, three of which had never been processed and another three that were spooled in little (may it rest in peace) Kodak canisters *crosses self three times*.

film rolls

This was the perfect opportunity to get everything developed, so I took them to Green Street Photo Lab, the local, last standing film shop in the area. They took our film, but the estated rolls were too antiquated for them to process. I did a little research and found a lab in Aurora, CO that specializes in old film. I sent an inquiry with the film stats and hoped for a positive response.

I decided to take a look at the already processed negatives and scanned a couple of the estated images to find a few vacationing beauties by the lake (looks like the 1940’s from their sensible swimsuit fashions).

ladies on vacation


And then I couldn’t help myself but get them printed. I took in a splice of film, probably spooled for nearly 70 years, but it was so brittle a portion of it broke apart. I will take the remaining rolls and lay them out flat so the same problem won’t occur. Wish I could find these ladies and hear a story or two!



A few days later we still hadn’t heard anything from the lab in CO, but I did find some horrific reviews online so I ditched that inquiry and emailed Film Rescue International in North Dakota. Their response was almost immediate (thank you, Greg!) and I was given a very detailed account about the suspected vintage of our rolls and the step-by-step process I could expect if we shipped to their lab in ND.

A week later I again stopped by Green Street and picked up my order (2 rolls of film and 1 roll of slides). The first film roll was mostly throw-aways (not to say there weren’t some good memories, just not great photography). The other roll is a little gem. They are from a decade ago when I went with some friends on a little band-shoot (unfortunately, I’m not band worthy. I was one of the photographers). What makes the photos more memorable is that they were shot by someone very dear who is no longer with us. He was a stellar photographer and thanks to him some fond memories, not shot too long before his death, live on.


The slides date back to 2003 as well and, unlike the previous rolls of film, I had no memory of this day until I saw the images.

with my we-share-the-same-DNA-twin
MWD 1977-2004

So! I’m batting a thousand and my husband’s startin’ to get a little perturbed that none of the mystery rolls are of his yesteryear.

Which means we sent in all three of the vintage rolls to Film Rescue (this ain’t cheap, folks!). Due to the processing time, it will take several weeks to get our photos back (if indeed there are any photos on them), which is where I leave this post — on shipping day.

To be continued…


9 thoughts on “Forgotten Film

  1. This is so great! I miss the days of film. Once you got the rolls developed you had pictures and photo albums and they didn’t sit on your computer doing nothing. It’s really a special treat when you find one and don’t know what may be on it. The mystery roll creates such excitement!

    Love seeing you and your sis. It has that lovely “old picture” tint. I guess now-a-days they call that Instagram. Totally hip! Ha Ha!

    The vintage rolls are thrilling to me. As much as we love old photographs this is beyond exciting. I’m so happy you’re splurging and getting them developed. The one of the girls in their vintage swimsuits makes me wish I could time travel. How fun would it be to be sitting on that porch with the girls giggling about taboo topics.

    The band pictures are really good. I always love to look back at all the photos I took of Richie’s band.. Such a fun time in life!
    Black and white film makes them even that much more “artsy”.
    Great post, T. Can’t wait for part 2!!!! Have a great weekend!

    1. thanks, stacey! i miss days o’ film too 😦 and i bet those girls were totally giggling over taboo topics. i want their swimsuits! i wonder which of them are still alive and where they are today.
      hard to believe some of my photos are ten years ago. to be honest i can’t tell if it feels more like 20 years ago or yesterday. weird how time can fracture like that! it was another lifetime, that is at least for sure.
      i am so glad i can start my weekend. i’m kicking it off with a glass of red! happy weekend to you and richie, miss S!!! hope you’re having lovely weather like we are πŸ˜€

    1. it IS better than finding a 20 spot (though that’s pretty great too and hasn’t happened to me in a lonnnngg time!). i can’t wait to see what’s on the other rolls, too! πŸ™‚ thanks, J!

  2. It’s like a treasure hunt! You should post them on FB and see if you can get them to go viral to find someone who might recognize them or the cabin. It’s a long shot, but sure would be fun if it happened. Can’t wait to see what’s on the other three rolls. πŸ™‚

    1. it IS like a treasure hunt!! posting on FB is a fun idea. maybe when i get the rest back (they’re all from the same estate sale). at the very least it’ll be some FB traction, eh?! πŸ˜‰ xo

      1. sounds like spring cleaning is in the air! glad you got a head start on the organizing. when i was younger, i used to stash five dollar bills in coat pockets and handbags, just so i could enjoy a good surprise down the line. maybe we could both resurrect that concept. think of the fun 6 months from now! πŸ˜‰ thanks for stopping by!

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