Rest In Peace Howard Foxman
Loomis Camera is where it really got started for me. My first camera that I purchased was from there, a Canon Elan, which I still own. Howard was great, It was 2003 when I first walked into loomis it felt like going into a portal, like it was 1973. I think that is what made me keep going back, I think he knew I was a kook, and unfortunately for him a poor kook but I believe he really enjoyed talking photography since that was his business for over 60 years. I would say after a year or so, my frequent visits stopped. I received my first digital camera, a point and shoot. For Christmas 2005, and by the time I was upgrading from that I'll be honest I guess I didn't really have the patience, loomis was a double edge sword I really liked the vibes of the place but when it came to new cameras at that time, I loved loomis but it was generally old stock but could "special order" for a couple weeks and down payment and that was hard for me at the time.
I watched a documentary that changed my photography forever and I just had to learn to develop my own film. Guess where I went? I found myself back at Loomis in 2010, It only makes total sense with this short story that going there with this goal in mind got Howard and his employee Tom that had been there for 30+ years who at this time I could tell he was doing more of the selling but Howard was like "just hide in a closet" when I mentioned not having a darkroom. I'll always remember him chillin there in front of rolls of ilford and the old school fridge. They were enthusiastic to help me out, it seemed like a breath of fresh air to them, or at least something different for a change or a throwback they've been unknowingly itching for. I was happy to be back, I got everything I needed to develop black and white 35 and 120 film... various chemicals and the tank, was given a film chart which still hangs above my sink, and most importantly a negative scanner to get my film onto the computer, which I still use today to post my film photos.
Its amazing to think, now that I am 31 years old... to just think of me as this super enthusiastic 16 year old driving a 1980 impala up to loomis for the first time being surrounded by photography. At the time especially as a youngster you don't think of what it takes to make something like that available. Dedicating your life to a business, making a town like Elyria have a place to go for over 60 years is truly amazing. I just want to put out there how much the memories of that store will stay with me and how grateful I am that he had the enthusiasm to have been there not only for me but everyone that walked into that store decades before I was even born.
Thank you, Howard.
P.S. I "special ordered" that scanner.
(Note: tried figuring out who photographed Howard in front of store. No luck, it was featured in a newspaper in 2012 I will have to dig it up to see if it says who did)