I got a call from my friend Hugh Coffman a few days ago. He told me he had several cameras that he was wanting to get rid of. He needed to clean out some space for his trains that he collects from estate sales. After he rambled off a few keywords that sparked my interest like nikon, 50mm, box of cameras, and other things like that I decided it was worth the 30 mile drive to his house.
Saturday morning I got up and left to his house. Just like last time, I pulled up to his house, relieved that I could now get out of my car. I had saw a crash right off of Buffalo, so I was pretty glad I got to his house in one piece, and on a quarter tank of gas.
He welcomed me into his house and just like last time, his young daughter and their puffy little white dog were in the main room. I couldn't imagine the two see visitors often, they live with an old man in a seemingly 55+ neighborhood.
Finally he led me to his 'messy' camera filled garage. As I walked in the first thing I noticed wasn't his table of old camera stuff but his crooked parked nissan truck. Peculiar.
In my youthful hope I imagined I would find some old Hasseblad gear, or maybe a nice little nikon rangefinder, but of course my imagination had the best of me. To my realistic mind's unsurprise I found a few cameras that were alright. Mostly though, Hugh's collection consisted of 20 year old QVC specials, a swap meet all-in-one camera, old kodaks, plastic 110 cameras and need I go on?
After at least a half an hour of sorting through garage sale deals, estate mistakes, random finds, fishing poles, and listening to Mr. Coffman's stories of being a Review-Journal paperboy I concluded Hughes collection was not even worth 100 dollars to me. I had set aside a few items that worth of some worth, a Black Nikon EM with a black pancake 50 f1.8 and case, A broken Minolta X-370 with a 50 f1.4 and its original box, and finally an old Bolex C8 8mm video camera. I asked him how much he wanted for all this stuff. After a slow sigh he started with, "well I paid $50 for the Nikon..." by then it was about the third time I heard him say those exact words. A few moments after that he said "well, how about $100 for everything?". In my head I kind of laughed in lieu that I had spent all that time driving and going through his stuff only to find a few somewhat nice things. I was determined not to leave empty handed, so with a little bit of smooth talking I left with all the aforementioned and a few extras. All for 45 bucks.