Thy Neighbor’s House

New Orleans has more than its share of eccentrics and one of them is my neighbor, Oscar. I’ve lived here for 20 years and today was the first time I actually went inside Oscar’s house. It’s a museum of analog electronics once you get upstairs.

I’ve known Oscar as the guy who could answer any question I might have about my guitar amps (all tube) and have me flummoxed with electro-jargon in under a minute (I just smile and nod), but I had no extent of his collection until today. There’s just something about the heft and sheer material presence of eighty-pound tube transmitters that I find fascinating..

The knobs all have that buttery feel you find in expensive German cameras, the crinkly baked-on black enamel, the heat-resistant glass panels, its all too much. I couldn’t help thinking “I wish Quintron could meet this guy” and I’m sure Oscar would dig the Drum Buddy…

Naturally, Oscar knows every function of every item, every quirk, he practically knows serial numbers. He’s built a couple of amazing lights from spare parts that I’m going to photograph the next time I go there. I may even bring them into my studio; they’re that fantastic…

The stuff, the weird stuff, everywhere…Ceramic kitties and Morgus contraptions next to volumes on WWII and schematics. Yes, as photographers we find this stuff irresistible and fascinating..when we’re not overwhelmed by it…

I was also digging the needlepoint all over the place, done long ago by Oscar’s mother. There’s shrimp, crabs, and crawfish (all framed) in the kitchen, and a very nice streetcar piece in the stairwell..

Amazing what we find right next door sometimes. Whenever I start to think “maybe I should have bought a nice house in a subdivision somewhere” I need to remember to just go knock on my neighbor’s door. Inside could be a trip…

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One Response to Thy Neighbor’s House

  1. MaryD says:

    Awesome, especially that last shot. I want to get lost in his house! It really looks like a treasure trove!

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