While touring the casket factory in York the other day I noticed a casket with this label, and I was curious why it was there. It is a short story but covers a long time period. It took some digging to get close to the reason.
I was born and raised in Clarksburg, WV. The Clarksburg Casket Co. opened in the early 1900s nearby. Around 2000 it was bought by Aurora Acquisition Corp. and in 2003 they moved the Clarksburg Casket operations to Bristol, Tenn. and consolidated it with Cortrim Hardwood Parts Co. Sometime around 2008 there was a fire that destroyed the Aurora casket facilities in Tenn. I’m not sure when, but recently, Matthews International acquired Aurora so I guess some of the elements of the Clarksburg operations have now made it to York, PA where I saw the casket inside the Matthews facility. I asked if that was a model name and was told, no, it is where it was made (?). That is all I have learned so far, but I’m guessing that the wood casket operations have moved to York, PA. I’ll amend this post if I ever learn anymore.
The Homewood at Plum Creek Men’s Group toured the Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions casket manufacturing facility in York Pennsylvania. For over 85 years, the Matthews York facility (formerly known as York Casket) has produced all-wood, and wood veneer, caskets that are second-to-none in the industry. These superior products are manufactured and distributed to funeral homes located throughout the U.S. and Canada.
We had an excellent tour of the process from raw boards arriving from local wood lots, to drying in multiple kilns, to machining and construction of all types of wood caskets from simple pine boxes to the most elaborately finished oak, walnut, pecan, and mahogany caskets.
The above pictures are just a sample from what I made on the tour. Other than being impressed with the variety and quality of the work that goes into making caskets, something else most impressed me and overwhelmed me.
I have never seen a greater waste of top-quality lumber being machined and finished into such beautiful products just to be buried. In my opinion, it’s an extravagant waste! The results of the lovely workmanship of such valuable resources should be items that can be displayed, touched, and admired for years and years.
I don’t know what to photograph for my blog, or even to continue the blog. Most photographers travel to various places to photograph them. I have not been traveling far or often, so most of my photography has been of things I see as I walk around my home. I have done it all, over and over, and need something else.
I have made many photographs on the streets of Hanover, but it is a small place and I have photographed the streets and alleys around the center of the Borough many times. I wanted to make a book of Hanover photos, but I haven’t been able to think of a good theme, and I see little reason to go back to make pictures until I think of a theme; i.e., a message I want to tell.
Most of my photography for my blog has been my playing with different gear and processing. That has slowed to a mere trickle. I need another reason to search for, and make, pictures.
One morning Marcia and I went to Miller’s Market and since I hadn’t used the Olympus PEN-F with the Panasonic 20mm lens at f/1.7 for a while, I took it and made these images to see how one of my styles worked. That’s it. I had no prior intentions, no story or message other than to test the style.
PS, it is a nice clean market on the road between Hanover and Abbottstown on Rt. 194 that has basic recipe ingredients; i.e., those things you don’t find much of in chain grocery stores anymore.
I prefer prime lenses since they are smaller, lighter, and make it easier to operate my camera with one hand. I usually pick one and mount it on the camera before I go out. Currently it is often the Olympus 17mm f/1.8. I pick it since it is one of the smallest and is fast and has an effective 35mm focal length. The only problem is that sometimes it is too wide. I made the above picture when I drove by and saw the fisherman out in the lake. He is hard to see in the above view, so I cropped and upsized to extract the following view from the above picture.
The day I made the above was a time when I wished I had the 14-150mm zoom lens mounted, but I was driving around and didn’t want that lens hanging from my neck strap as I drove. As a possible remedy to using a heavier, larger zoom lens, I have ordered a hand grip for the Olympus PEN-F camera. After it arrives, I will experiment with using the hand grip and a wrist strap and carrying the camera, with the lens mounted, in a small bag.
I often wish for a good, affordable, small, not too heavy, silent camera with image stabilization, a large sensor, lots of megapixels, and a small lightweight fast wide pancake prime lens on it. If I had those I might only need one lens and one camera and then could crop-zoom to create the image desired.
I recently acquired a Ricoh GR II camera and since I needed to go to Gettysburg to get a new driver’s license, I took it along and made a variety of test images. These were all standard color jpegs and I changed some of them to B&W using LR CC after I returned home.
The bottom-line is that I like the camera. It is small and easy to carry and has excellent image qualities. It would make a good travel camera to record your memories. Now, I need to see how I might use the effective 28mm lens.