When I was about 10 years old I pleaded for a camera for Christmas. I really don't know what possessed me to want a camera. My mother had one and we took plenty of photographs at picnics, birthdays, etc. We really didn't need another camera. But whatever my reasoning my mother responded and under the Christmas tree that year was a small Brownie Kodak. While there was a more expensive model that could hold a flash attachment, mine was the plain one with no flash and so most of the photos I took were outdoor photos.
Here three of my brothers willingly pose for the camera. The instruction book suggested "action" photos and so at my request they demonstrated their afternoon's play of pulling each other on sleds around the farmstead. We love this photo because in the background you can see our oh-so-rickety chicken house, our father's old International pickup, the stand-alone forge where Dad would heat and temper steel when he was repairing machinery. My brothers are wearing their tattered "every-day" coats and my youngest brother was still enamored of his Lone Ranger mask. My brothers never had a problem of finding play.
In the far back of the photo, between our flatland fields and the Loess Hills, lies the Little Sioux River where we learned to swim while doing the half-drowning-dog-paddle.
When I took my first roll of film to the drug store to be developed I was very much surprised to have the photos come back as prints equal to the size of the small 120 film. In fact the first couple rolls were printed this way and I was dismayed that the camera did not take larger pictures. They were wonderful if you wanted to keep them in your billfold, but I wanted "real" photographs. Then someone advised me that I needed to ask for the larger (regular) size prints.
I wouldn't mind taking black/white photos again. I have a 35mm in the drawer...perhaps I'll get it out and use it again. The digital is wonderful, but there's something about a film camera that feels so much like "camera".