I bought some Kroger 200 color film from Photo Warehouse early last year thinking I’d use it to test newly acquired cameras. This expired stock was manufactured by Ferrania. Later I realized that I’m best served testing with fresh film of a good stock that I know well, like Fujicolor 200 or Ilford HP5 Plus. I have shot these films a lot, and have a good idea of what they’re supposed to look like. It removes a variable from evaluating an old camera’s performance.
So I turned to shooting the Kroger film when I want to have a little fun shooting and the results aren’t that important to me. I took my Sears KSX-P on the trip last fall that Margaret and I made to Madison, Indiana, and wanted to keep going with it after we got back. This looks like a job for Kroger 200!
After I shot the next-to-last roll of this film, I compared the results from the various labs I used to develop it. See that comparison here. I said then that I’d use Fulltone Photo for the last roll, and that’s what I did. To my eye, I still got my best results from Old School Photo Lab. But these images from Fulltone look plenty good enough for me.
I started the roll in Terre Haute. I met my longtime friend Michael at Sonka’s for a beer. I first set foot in Sonka’s in about 1988 and it remains a favorite place.
30+ years ago, Sonka’s wasn’t this fancy. The exterior was plain and there was a simple sign over the door. But in those days of the imported beer craze, Sonka’s had a healthy selection. They had a beer and wine license then, and no kitchen. Today they have a three-way license and an extensive menu. They also lean into being an Irish pub, something I don’t remember them doing in the 90s.
I made a number of images in and around my mom’s condo after she passed away. My brother and I have been over there from time to time as we close her estate. I also worked from there for several days last fall, when our granddaughter’s family stayed with us. There’s no getting work done when you have a three year old tearing around the house! Here’s the view from mom’s patio.
Mom loved to garden. She filled the patio with flowers and herbs. Her rosemary was outstanding, and prolific. But in her last year she wasn’t able to take full care of her garden, and it was looking pretty scraggly. A few of her flowering plants were going strong, though.
Mom has a Heywood Wakefield dining set, including this table and these chairs, as well as a hutch and a china cabinet. They originally belonged to my aunt Pauline and her family, who gave the set to my parents. (Pauline’s husband was a photographer for the Chicago Tribune, and photographed my grandfather holding me when I was days old; see that photo here.) The table and chairs came first, in 1976, which I remember because that’s the year we moved to the house my parents kept for the next 38 years. We had a separate dining room for the first time, and needed furniture for it. The hutch and china cabinet came in the early 1980s. Later, Mom bought a matching corner cabinet and bookcase from an antique shop. And now nobody in the family wants or needs this furniture. It’s a shame, because it’s been in the family since new. I hope we can find a next owner who will appreciate and care for it.
We haven’t had any trouble keeping Mom’s car in the family, however. My son, Garrett, is getting it. He’s driving a 23-year-old Saturn and will be very happy to have something newer. Even though this is a basic subcompact, it’s the high-trim version with a backup camera, Bluetooth, and automatic climate control. It was also my mother’s first car, which she bought at age 72 when it was clear Dad could not drive anymore. She didn’t like Dad’s car, so she traded it in on this. Margaret and I had to teach Mom how to drive it. She had a driver’s license, which she got in 1985 when she was 41. But Dad always drove, and her driving skills had faded away.
I took an afternoon walk around the semi-suburban neighborhood Mom’s condo complex sits in. Walking through the condo complex I came upon this 1993-97 Ford Ranger. I photographed it for my 2022 Carspotting post, but then didn’t send the film out for development until January, which was too late.
It’s all strip malls around Mom’s condo. At least Mom has plenty of restaurants nearby.
This Salvadoran and Mexican restaurant isn’t visible at all from the street. I have to think that’s not great for business. I’ve never had Salvadoran food before, so I’ve mentally bookmarked this place so Margaret and I will visit.
I’m not sad to have used the last of this film. The big-box store near my home gets occasional shipments of Fujicolor 200, and I’ve taken to just buying it when I see it, even though the three packs are $19. I have about 20 rolls in the freezer, ready for new-to-me old cameras.
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