The title should read, "Point, focus, check shutter speed, cock shutter, remove plate to expose film, point, focus and then...you might get a picture." I got better as I went along and took some of the best pictures ever.
My buddy Dennis Norton put me in touch with an old gentleman who installed a roll film adapter that allowed me to use 120, 100ASA roll film, ten exposures. I purchased three adapters which let me have 30 exposures without reloading. I also replaced the flash unit with a strobe light.
I took almost a hundred pictures of local scenes before we won a trip to Rome in 1972. I didn't have a camera other than the Speed Graphic that would take the kind of pictures I expected to take in Rome so I packed everything in the wooden case. I didn't weigh it but I can tell you it was heavy. A friend had given me a tripod that weighed almost as much as the camera. Off we went the first day in Rome ready to record the trip. First day we were on a chartered bus with a guide. Just about the time I would have a shot lined up, it was "Everybody back on the bus!" That did it. I told my wife before the day was over, I would have either rented a car or a car and driver.
We stopped by the outdoor cafe at the Excelsior Hotel on the Via Veneto for a drink. Just as we were served a young man approached, introduced himself as Remo Bartolinni, licensed guide with a full size Opel. A native of Rome, he was ready to serve for twenty-five dollars US a day plus his meals. I pulled ten days, $250, out of my pocket and told him we would be ready to go at eight the next morning.
That evening I was visiting with a friend from Austin. We both agreed that the bus was not our cup of tea and I told him about the car I had hired. He asked if there might be room for him and his wife, that he would be most happy to pay half. When he asked me how much, I told him $50 a day. He promptly pulled $300 out of his pocket, gave it to me and said if I needed more to let him know. Now there is honor among thieves and car dealers and I fully intended to return half his money before the trip was over. It didn't work out that way.
When we got home, I sent a copy of the enlarged photos I had taken along with a check and an explanation. He returned the check, called me later and told me it was a good deal at twice the price.
Really what this tale is about is a photo I took of Miss Texas 1973, Judy Mallett. I took several with the camera that morning she came to Weatherford to appear on a radio show I sponsored. Nice lady.