Bench By Bench with Rebecca Kennel

Victoria: Bench by Bench

Another idea for backyard explorers, public benches in parks, along trails, anywhere you can walk to. Some benches have been built for people to take a break during a walk. Some give people a place to sit, read awhile and admire the scenery or a great view. Some were donated as memorials with a plaque for a family member, local business or celebrity.

So far I can’t find a copy of the book, but that happens with local history books published by the author/ photographer. Rebecca Kennel lived in Victoria, BC. While there she wrote a book about the public benches in Victoria, BC. She photographed them, wrote about their history and the surroundings. It looks like a charming book and I have emailed her (if she gets email at that address still) and maybe I will be able to get a copy, if there are any still in print. I can find the book on Amazon, but it is out of print, no more copies expected. I was hoping for better news, but not surprised.

I found a personal site Rebecca kept, until 2018. She had moved from Victoria to a town in Saskatchewan. She was/ is looking after her Mother and her husband, Galen, has passed away. I don’t know what she has been doing since then. I found a YouTube channel, Twitter account, and a Facebook page but nothing is updated. I hope she is still ok herself. There are two posts about her book on her YouTube channel.

The site for the book has a backup link on her personal domain. I’m leaving that link in case the other site disappears.

Searching for Metal with Magnet Fishing

Do you know about magnet fishing? I just heard about it for the first time today. It is metal detecting with a big magnet tied to a rope you throw into water and then drag through it to find anything metal enough to stick to your magnet. I think that is another form of exploration, seeing what you can find basically. I’d prefer it to actual fishing, trying to catch fish. But, either way there is a lot of patience and stuff you don’t keep.

Magnet fishing benefits the water systems. If, people don’t just throw all the junk right back into the water. People I have seen (Random Andrew in video posts) magnet fishing seem to keep a bucket to throw in the bits of wire, nails, and assorted bits they find. I’d be hoping to find old coins but I didn’t see much of that turning up in the video posts I watched today. Guns, which have to be turned into the police, and a metal sign were more interesting than bits of wire.

There is also the problem of your magnet getting caught on debris and the chance you might lose it. I think most of the time it can be saved one way or another. But, there will be that less lucky day when you can’t pull it out again, or your rope snaps. This is a good time to learn a few good sailor knots.

Expect to get wet. I’d bring a change of clothes and foot wear for walking in rivers, streams and generally wet places.

Payphoneographer – Photographing the Urban Phone

Found on Twitter. You can follow the Instagram account or see the photos on Tumblr.

I think this is a great idea for backyard urban exploration. I don’t own or use a cell phone so I do still think about payphones, notice where they are and I’m glad to still see them around, and functional.

The classic steel/aluminum phone booth that we all remember was invented and manufactured by Benner-Nawman. In 1948, the Pacific Telephone Company had their corporate headquarters in San Francisco. They called Rollie Nawman and asked him to design and produce a telephone booth made of aluminum and glass to replace the wooden phone booths that they had in service at the time. With Pacific Telephone’s adoption of the very first design the company began making thousands of telephone booths and enclosures used by every major Telephone Company here in the United States and in 45 other countries; many of those enclosures are still in use today. With the advent of the cell phone, payphones were on the decline, and with them, the phone booth itself. In 2005, Benner-Nawman sold off all remaining stock and got out of the phone booth business. Myrmidon-PBG bought most of B-N’s stock, presumably for servicing old booths.

The above information is from the Flickr group for Phone Booths.