Continued from yesterday:
Jan. 3 1978
I was, of course, very excited getting the announcement about winning the Nikon Camera in the Harrowsmith Photo Contest, and amongst my other mail was a Canada Post postcard that indicated that a package was being held for me at the McBride post office. Because New Year's Day had fallen during the weekend, Monday was the Federal holiday, and so it wasn't until Tuesday, Jan 3rd that we had the opportunity to go to the post office to pick up the package.
The package at the post office not only included my new camera, but also three copies of the Harrowsmith Magazine, where my photo was published. I was anxious to leaf through the magazine to searching for my photo.
After we bought our property just outside of McBride, BC, we were not immediately able to move in until a month later, because the seller's were not immediately able to move out, so we lived with friends, a couple of hours away from McBride, in the interim. They were a retired couple who loved gardening, and as we waited, I helped them dig their potatoes. One evening, I leafed through one of their Harrowsmith Magazines. Harrowsmith was a new developed glossy magazine devoted to gardening and other rural pursuits.
I noticed that Harrowsmith was having their first photo contest, and it listed several categories for photos, one of which was “Friends and Foes of the Garden”. I had a nice close-up photo of a toad, I had taken along the shoreline of Vancouver Island, and thought to myself, “Hey, a toad eats insects, and would be a friend of the garden”, so I sent it, along with a few other shots for the other categories, as entries in the contest.
With all of the running around buying, legalizing, moving into our house, and exploring our new community, and meeting our neighbors, I hadn't spent much time thinking about the Harrowsmith contest, so it was a nice surprise when I was told I had won the Grand Prize.
When we got back into the car outside the post office, I leafed through the magazine, suddenly there it was—a centerfold of my toad close-up. Filled with pride, my eyes scanned down to the caption below the photo, “Grand Prize winning photo by Bob Marchant.”
I was immediately deflated. Here was my only chance at national fame, and the magazine got my name wrong—isn't that always the way.
“Oh well,” I rationalized, “At least I got a Nikon camera out of the deal.”
I did get a bit of local fame a week later. I was interviewed and my photo taken holding up my centerfold, by the local newspaper, and a week later, when the paper came out, local people in our tiny Village of McBride were introduced to the “nationally-published” magazine photographer who had recently moved into their community, whose name really wasn't “Bob”.
You can see my paintings at: davidmarchant.ca
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