Seventy-five years is a long run for a product line, but that is what it has been for Kodachrome film. Manufacturing ended last year and processing ended on December 30th. Across the nation there are various activities marking the end of an era. In Rochester, there is silence. Steve McCurry took the last roll of Kodachrome around the world for National Geographic, but the company that produced all of this film has barely mentioned it. In other places people are using Kodachrome film one last time for exhibits evoking days gone by. In this city where I can talk to people who knew the inventors of Kodachrome, I had trouble giving away 50 rolls of film. The film was rapidly claimed by others across the country once I posted a notice on an internet forum. Paul Simon wrote a song entitled "Kodachrome", but in Rochester "The Sounds of Silence" seems more appropriate.

I know why Kodak steered clear of the end of Kodachrome. It doesn't fit with their vision of a digital future. I'm having a harder time understanding why the rest of Rochester seems not to care. Are we still in lock step with Kodak management so that we automatically follow their lead? Are we so disappointed in Kodak that we'd rather avoid celebrating part of the heritage of that company and this city? Do we still wait for Kodak to provide leadership?

We need to establish an identity in this city that moves beyond Kodak. Who are we? What do we stand for? Where do we want to go in the next 10 years? I hope Kodak can contribute, but I would not depend on them.