90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
My Kodak Moment
Diane Shiffman (Cal Garufo/Calart Studios)

Diane Shiffman (Cal Garufo/Calart Studios)

My Kodak moment actually belongs to my big sister, Diane. In 1958, she was 2 years old. Everyone was talking about “a new Kodak color film that wasn’t too expensive to use,” the way my mother tells the story. She dressed Diane in her Sunday best — white gloves included — and they went downtown to Calart Studio in East Boston, where Cal Garufo took her “Direct Color” portrait.

My parents loved the results. Garufo did too, asking them for permission to enter it in a local contest. He paid them $1 for the rights, which they signed away without second’s thought.

The photo won that contest, and then a national one as well.

Soon, Diane’s picture popped up in photo frames and on packages of Kodak film. My dad says he even saw it rotating around in New York’s Grand Central Station.

Over the years, the family joked that the photo could have paid for Diane’s college education. If only…

It’s been a half a century since that frame of Kodak film was exposed. Diane is all grown up, with an adult daughter of her own. Kodak has just filed for bankruptcy. And the picture, now faded, hangs in my father’s room in his assisted living facility.

The “Direct Color” may have lost some of its luster, but the memories burn as bright as the second that the shutter clicked.

-Karen Shiffman

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

 
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

More »
Comment
 
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments