Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Reliving the Past with Batman

There are four binders like this one.
So many things exist on other planes from the one we currently inhabit. And nowhere is this more apparent than when old photos come to the fore.

With apartment renovations creating chaos, one of the things to reduce pandemonium has been to par back holdings so that they are manageable.

Having taken thousands of photos through the nineties and 2000s, floor-to-ceiling drawers of photos needed going through, disposing of some, and the remaining ones, being married-up with the articles they illustrate. The column I wrote weekly starting in 1997 (towards the end, every two weeks) went for eleven years leaving 600-some stories, all about cars, trucks, motorcycles…any mode of transport, I covered it for the automotive section of a large city daily.

My plan is to scan the photos and articles and then re-publish them as an on-line magazine. The kicker is that I want to add what I recall  and this will set each article apart. I inevitably spent two or three hours with each person and their vehicle and the stories I was told, the insights into the auto hobby, the humorous things that happened, I want to reprint the extant article but with pizazz. Publishing more than one photo is going to help as typically, for the newspaper, there was the person and their vehicle or part of their vehicle. No room for anything else. However, now photos of the engine compartment, of the interior, of the dash, the bright work, and even more than one of the owner, all this can be accomplished.

              Each envelope of photos is gone through and 
              the best ones are pulled and placed with the article
              once it is located. If the photos are not dated or
              identified, that has to happen. 

The Batmobile at the Ottawa New Car Show 
in 1999. 
I didn't write a story for the paper about the International New Car Show but I was involved in helping connect the show managers with local cars they needed for their displays.

One year, the Batmobile was being shipped from the United States as a major draw. They did this every year. The next year, they brought in an F1 race car.  I was asked to find a suitable man to wear the Batman suit, someone comfortable in front of crowds, someone who didn't mind wearing tights, knee-high leather boots and an intricate, armour-like, latex vest. Someone without an ounce of fat on their body as the costume was form-fitting.

Who do you think I got?

Who else but Mr. Ottawa Leather.

Batman. The secret behind
the mask revealed.

From Wikipedia. I could not back up far enough to
get a good shot of the entire vehicle.

The paint job and chrome accents were fabulous 
on this car.
The crowds were crazy for Batman.