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Last chance for portraits

If you ever had your portrait made by Rudolph Farmer or his late wife Theda, but never picked up your prints, this is your final chance.
Over the years, the photography studios collected thousands of packets of portraits that were never picked up “for one reason or another.” Now, customers are being given one last chance to pick up their prints before they are destroyed.
For a limited and unspecified time the unclaimed photographs will be available for pickup at Cleo’s Closet at 85 West Main Street in Pulaski. Toni Ayers, who runs Cleo’s, said the packets can be picked up between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
“It’ll take a lot of pressure off me if we can dispose of them,” Rudolph Farmer said of the portraits that have been in his possession over the decades. At times, he said, he gets called down to the old studio as much as three times per week by people wanting to pick up pictures.
He pointed out that there is a lot of responsibility in protecting the pictures because someone could get their hands on them and use the images in unflattering ways. Besides, he said the pictures are important pieces of history for their former customers’ families.
Farmer could have disposed of the images years ago, but he said he didn’t think it would be proper to get rid of them until customers had plenty of notice they would be destroyed if not picked up.
The pictures have been stored in the former studio on Main Street for years, along with the couple’s darkroom equipment, but Farmer said it’s time to clean out the building so it can be rented. He owns the building, which now houses Cleo’s Closet.
Asked whether he or his late wife ever got paid for the pictures that weren’t picked up, Farmer said they didn’t.
Ayers said she has helped get all of the packets alphabetized so it will be easier to find what’s being picked up.
“I just want to cease to be responsible for them,” Farmer added.
Eighty-eight-year-old Farmer first got into photography at the age of 13 when a local photographer hired him to do her darkroom work because the skin on her hands would crack when exposed to the photographic chemicals.
He eventually went to the Eastman Kodak school in Chicago to learn photography.
A man of many stories, Farmer recalled how a young man at the school died from cyanide exposure while trying to develop color photography. He said the students had gone to see a movie and something in the movie convinced the young man cyanide would work to bleach the film.
The man apparently returned to the school to try out his hypothesis and somehow managed to ingest some of the cyanide.
When they returned from their night out, the other students found the man dead in the darkroom, he said.

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Last chance for portraits

If you ever had your portrait made by Rudolph Farmer or his late wife Theda, but never picked up your prints, this is your final chance.
Over the years, the photography studios collected thousands of packets of portraits that were never picked up “for one reason or another.” Now, customers are being given one last chance to pick up their prints before they are destroyed.
For a limited and unspecified time the unclaimed photographs will be available for pickup at Cleo’s Closet at 85 West Main Street in Pulaski. Toni Ayers, who runs Cleo’s, said the packets can be picked up between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
“It’ll take a lot of pressure off me if we can dispose of them,” Rudolph Farmer said of the portraits that have been in his possession over the decades. At times, he said, he gets called down to the old studio as much as three times per week by people wanting to pick up pictures.
He pointed out that there is a lot of responsibility in protecting the pictures because someone could get their hands on them and use the images in unflattering ways. Besides, he said the pictures are important pieces of history for their former customers’ families.
Farmer could have disposed of the images years ago, but he said he didn’t think it would be proper to get rid of them until customers had plenty of notice they would be destroyed if not picked up.
The pictures have been stored in the former studio on Main Street for years, along with the couple’s darkroom equipment, but Farmer said it’s time to clean out the building so it can be rented. He owns the building, which now houses Cleo’s Closet.
Asked whether he or his late wife ever got paid for the pictures that weren’t picked up, Farmer said they didn’t.
Ayers said she has helped get all of the packets alphabetized so it will be easier to find what’s being picked up.
“I just want to cease to be responsible for them,” Farmer added.
Eighty-eight-year-old Farmer first got into photography at the age of 13 when a local photographer hired him to do her darkroom work because the skin on her hands would crack when exposed to the photographic chemicals.
He eventually went to the Eastman Kodak school in Chicago to learn photography.
A man of many stories, Farmer recalled how a young man at the school died from cyanide exposure while trying to develop color photography. He said the students had gone to see a movie and something in the movie convinced the young man cyanide would work to bleach the film.
The man apparently returned to the school to try out his hypothesis and somehow managed to ingest some of the cyanide.
When they returned from their night out, the other students found the man dead in the darkroom, he said.

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