Category Archives: Focus Prints

My First Three Martini Lunch

So, this is  my sojourn into photography in the 1960’s. The highlighted texts are links. Just click on them to find out where I’m taking you. If you want to make a comment or see the comments just click on the title.

Back from shoveling concrete at the Peace River Dam I was at loose ends. I’d been toying with the idea of getting into professional photography and now seemed an open opportunity.
Back in the fifties my family moved into a ‘fixer upper’ in Marpole.(South Vancouver) Down in the basement was a fully usable darkroom which my brother and I immediately adopted. My first camera was a ‘Baby Brownie’ and we bought, developed and printed photos from it in that darkroom. We also shot and developed 8mm and 16mm reversible movie film. (That was a chore! Had to use an elaborate system for dunking it in the chemicals)
Before school my brother and I had a morning paper route. (The Vancouver News Herald). At 12 or 13 I was getting up at 4:00 am, riding down to the Safeway on Granville Street where the papers were tossed in bundles onto the sidewalk and we would count them out and load up our bikes. (I think I had 70 deliveries which I would finish just in time to go to school)
I was tired all the time and decided it was time to quit. My manager had other ideas, told me I couldn’t quit and begged me to stay on another month. If I did he would give me a camera! It was a Brownie Hawkeye and my first really good camera. (turns out the News Herald was going under and he didn’t want to go looking for another paperboy. So in a month I and a bunch of my friends were out of work)

1966 and I had an appointment for a job interview! My friend’s uncle worked in sales for an American TV company based in Vancouver. (KVOS). He knew that I was itching to get into photography so he set up an interview with the head editor at the TV station. We met at a ritzy café on Burrard Street in Vancouver. The first thing that my friend and the editor did was order Martinis for the three of us. We talked a bit. I said I was interested in camera work and the editor began persuading me to become a film editor. Said it was more demanding and more rewarding. I said I would definitely give it serious thought.

Then he ordered more Martinis! We had some little nibble food. I was beginning to feel the effect of the booze. Talked some more and they ordered another round of Martinis! We were all getting drunk and I didn’t understand what was going on. That’s when the explained to me ‘the Three Martini Lunch. Wikipedia describes it as this . I think we had a fourth but memory is somewhat clouded.
I didn’t get the job. Thinking about it I suspect it was merely my interviewers intention to get a paid (by the TV station) expensive lunch. (they could also write it off as a ‘business expense’)

In my future photographic career I had one more Three Martini Lunch which I instigated but I’ll tell you more about that later.

Just as well not getting the work as I soon found a much more fun and demanding place in the photographic world….