Several years ago, when I was writing over at the Old Place, I wrote a post that referenced that most nerdly of Youthful Activities: flying model rockets.
It’s hard to get deeper into Nerd Territory unless you’re also a member of the school marching band... at least, so they say. Whoever “they” are.
In any event, that post included several aerial photographs that a friend and I had taken with a rocket-mounted camera back in the fall of 1966. It was primitive technology by today’s standards, but nevertheless it yielded some interesting results: photos of identifiable pieces of Local Geography. Plus, it was cheap as borscht - five bucks bought the rocket and camera - the only other thing you needed was a supply of engines, film discs, patience, and wishful thinking.
After a few attempts from our usual launch venue - the then-undeveloped John J. Burns Park in Massapequa, New York - yielded mostly uninteresting results (aerial photos of roads and parking lots aren’t all that exciting, after all), we decided to move our base of operations to the parking lot of one of the local elementary schools. From there, we were able to score a few shots that at least had some recognizable landmarks. Roads! Water! Houses!
I’ve taken a couple of those old rocket photos and juxtaposed them against views of the same scenes available to anyone with Google Earth and an Internet connection. Here they are:
This is the part of Bar Harbor immediately south of Birch Lane School. Kings Walk runs L-R across the bottom, with Thornwood Road on the left and Queens Court to the right (and a glimpse of Harbor Drive on the far right).
Looking across the river at Nassau Shores, West Shore Drive winds along the left side of this photograph, with Seneca Place in the center and a bit of Seneca Street West visible on the leftmost edge.
The only difference between the photos on the left and those on the right? Forty-seven years... and a metric buttload of technology that nobody could possibly have imagined back in 1966.