Looking at historic pictures at various web sites has caused me to become irritated with my younger self. I had access to a camera from a fairly early age, and acquired my own (cheap) 35mm when I was 14. For years, I wandered about the streets of Los Angeles, and I almost never took the camera with me. Now, when I try to recall certain places as they once were, I must rely entirely on either my memory or on what turns up at those web sites. It would have been easy enough for me to shoot a few rolls now and then, and I even thought about doing it, but seldom got around to it. I have a few pictures of very few parts of Pasadena, and of Bunker Hill in downtown, before it was redeveloped, and a few shots of Santa Barbara, the beach and harbor at Redondo, and that's about it.
There was cost to consider, of course, but though I had very limited funds in those days, I'm sure I could have stretched my budget to cover a dozen rolls of film a year, and developing costs (for those times I was not in a high school or college class giving me access to facilities for developing them myself.) I keep thinking about places of which I'd like to have a visible record; The slightly creepy Victorian pile of Alhambra's old Marengo School, the now-vanished buildings of Dayton Street in Pasadena, old houses I used to pass by and which had, by the time I moved here, already been replaced by apartment blocks. Then there was the old, early 20th century landscape of Alhambra Park, later displaced by an ill-designed renovation, and the commercial streets around town which fell into disuse and disrepair, and other streets which were shabby and yet lively, and which then suffered renovation and gentrification. I might easily have made a record of all these things.
I did make a large number of pictures in 1986, the year I left Los Angeles, but the time I then had was too brief to reach every place I'd have liked to reach, and, in any case, many of the places I would now find most interesting to recall had already been changed beyond recognition. It is that earlier time that I now would most like to have recorded when I had the chance. Well. I suppose you just don't know what you don't have until you realize that it didn't used to be gone.