Features

'Girl with a Camera' story

Patsy Rosenbaugh

Patsy Rosenbaugh stands in front of the outhouse on her great-uncle Elmer Carlberg's property in Woodinville.

Carlberg estate

The Carlberg estate is a treasure trove of artifacts of yesteryear.
Photos by Oscar Roloff/Woodinville Weekly.

Oscar Roloff by Oscar Roloff
It was the 16th of January, 1996, and the "Girl with a Camera" and I were out in the rain, sliding around on the wet grass and slippery mud, taking photos of her great-uncle Elmer "Bill" Carlberg's former homesite near Woodinville.
   She'd not been there since she was a kid, and now she was seeing what was left of a once-splendid homestead, full of life, laughter, and children.
   Yet here we were like a couple of kids, shooting photos of gnarled trees, aged mailboxes dangling from trees, an old root cellar, antique panes of glass, tree knotholes, two outhouses, remains of the old house, and other artifacts of yesteryear.
   The camera girl came from Duvall. I've known her for years, knew her pa and ma, her grandpa and grandma, and other relatives that over time I've known and written about.
   Thus in having Patsy meeting me at the local site, I could write about her "camera" hobby. Save me from going to Duvall.
   Years ago that "gal" took a photo course from the well-known photographer Josef Scaylea. Often I'd met him while we both were photographing Eastside rural scenes.
   The camera gal remembered that Josef said he'd ask people if he could take their picture and then promise that if the photographs were good, he'd give them to the subjects in an album.
   "The whole thing harks back to England," Josef told her. "My card is a 'calling card,' like one I would leave on the entryway table in English society."
   But on that rainy day we two were having a lot of fun: me, age 77, and Patsy, 40-something, saving history for those of today.
   How can I get by calling a high executive with Seattle Key Bank a "gal," one may ask? Well, I've known the whole family, and they are from rural stock as am I. I'll never change. Just be myself, write as I feel.
   That "gal" is a real beauty. Has three daughters. She's learned that "giving" is the key of life. Though she was well-dressed and drives a Cadillac, she enjoyed the photo foray as much as I did.
   I must add this: in the 50-some years that I've been taking photos and writing, at long last I ran across a totally photogenic person in Patsy Rosenbaugh. Every photo turned out perfect, and neither I nor my camera take any credit for it.