June 17, 2013

Show & Tell Participants from June 12, 2013


When Karen Yeh was five or six years old, she began saving the fortunes from her fortune cookies. Nearly 25 years later, after averaging about four Chinese restaurant meals per year, she now has about 100 of the fortunes, which she keeps in a little clear plastic box. She won't accept or collect fortunes from other people -- only from her own cookies. Some of her favorite fortunes include "To exercise the body is to purify the soul" and "Do not mistake temptation for opportunity." She also likes the old trick of adding "in bed" to the end of a fortune: "You constantly struggle for self-improvement — in bed" and "Adventure can be happiness — in bed." She read these "in bed" fortunes with a gentle sense of innuendo that felt just right. (Photo by Alie McNeil)



Beau Dodson's parents traveled a lot for work, and he spent much of his childhood being raised by his grandparents. When he was about 10 years old, he was poking around his grandparents' house and found these portraits of his parents and family, which had been taken in December of 1987. (You can get a closer look at the photos here; Beau is the baby in the center.) The photos made Beau realize how much he missed his parents, so he took the photos, which he now carries around in his wallet. His other thought upon seeing the photos was, "I can't wait until I have long hair and a beard like my Pops." As you can see, he's taken care of that now that he's an adult. (Photo by Alie McNeil)



Aaron Jacobs has been dating a great girl, but she recently announced that she'll be leaving New York for another job in six weeks. So Aaron made up a list of fun things for them to do during the short time they have left together. One item on the list, which they did on their way to Show & Tell, was to go to a Goodwill shop and buy "crazy gifts" for each other. She bought him this cat-themed vest, which still had its Goodwill price tag ($8 — kinda pricey for Goodwill!). It was a big deal for Aaron to share this story, because "Normally I don't share — not even French fries." (Photo by Alie McNeil)



Brendan Schlagel received this light meter as a Christmas gift from his father and stepmother when he was in high school. "I like it because it's a small, kind of beautiful mechanical object," he says. "It symbolizes how I got started in photography. Now I've moved on to filmmaking and writing." He used to meter to confirm that the light in Freddy's back room, where we conduct Show & Tell, is pretty crummy. (Photo by Alie McNeil)



Morgan Doninger says his grandfather "didn't care about baseball and didn't read the Daily News." But he knew that Morgan was a big baseball fan. So in 1973, when Morgan was five years old, his grandfather bought the Daily News each Sunday during the baseball season and saved the Mets and Yankees posters that the newspaper was giving away. At the end of the season, he presented the full set of posters to Morgan, who still has them. "That was the kind of thing he did," says Morgan. (Photo by Alie McNeil)



The shirt that Haisi is wearing was made by her mother about 40 years ago in China. "She's really, really talented," says Haisi. "She'd make all her own clothes and then, when they went out of fashion, she'd give them to me, because we're the same size." She explains that her mother intentionally made the sleeves a bit short "for ease of working," because she was always working hard with her hands. (Photo by Alie McNeil)



Alie McNeil, who took all the other portraits for this round of Show & Tell, has a grandmother who developed an interesting hobby late in life: She found the little toy cars that her children had played with while growing up and decided she liked them. So she started buying more and more of these little cars and made shadowboxes out of them. Before Alie moved to New York, she asked and received permission to take one of the cars with her as a keepsake. She chose a little police car. (Here's a closer look.) "It looks kind of old, which I like," she says. (Photo by Paul Lukas, with Alie McNeil's camera)



We conclude, as usual, with Show & Tell host Paul Lukas — me. This installment of Show & Tell took place just a few days before Father's Day, so I chose an object related to that. Here's the deal: In 1973, when I was nine years old, I got the idea that our family should go to see the Mets on Father's Day. So I saved up my allowance (25¢ a week) until I had enough to cover the cost of my father's ticket. But I hadn't really thought very far ahead on this project, because I didn't have enough to pay for my own ticket, or my Mom's, or my brother's. So my father had to pay for those. He also had to pay for parking, pay for hot dogs and soda, drive through holiday traffic to and from the game, and so on. In other words, this wasn't exactly the most thoughtful Father's Day gift. But my father never complained, and he seemed to enjoy the day. Forty years later, I still have my ticket stub, which you can see more clearly here. (Photo by Alie McNeil)


That's it for this round of Show & Tell. Big thanks to all who attended, even bigger thanks to the participants, and bonus thanks to Alie McNeil for handling the photography. The next installment of Show & Tell will be Wednesday, July 10, 8pm, in the back room at Freddy's. Hope to see you then.

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