I've been waiting to tell you all about it whilst it was being repaired... dug it out earlier this year and found it wouldn't meter
But, just got it back from a service and it's just how I remember it - woohoo!
My first 35mm camera was an Argus C-3 I picked up at a yard sale for a dollar when I was 13. No instructions no light meter, and the shutter speed and aperture settings were numbers 1-10. I learned a ton about exposure from that camera, along with uncounted rolls of Verichrome Pan. That camera was stolen a couple of years later, and was replaced with another C-3 that came with the light value meter. I think I paid around $5 for that one, and I only had it a few months when it was stolen. I replaced it with a then new Olympus FTL. This started a 40 year love affair with Olys and especially Zuiko optics. Alas all my Olys are in the closet-dead bodies(2 OM-10's, an OM-4, and an XA, and XA-2) My currant shooters are a Yashica D, and Contax 139 quartz, My wife is shooting an OM-77AF I picked on the 'bay last summer for $20 (shipping inc.) I think its a good camera for her to learn composition with, so she doesnt have to worry about exposure until she is more confident in her photos (she is quite an artist already-drawing, and paint, sculpting) Our daughter loves shooting the 77 , she's already a very skilled darkroom apprentice at 11 yrs. old.
I had a Vivitar XV-1 35mm manual camera. After extensive use the film advance broke. I really learned my craft with that camera because it was all manual. After going Pro I started using Nikon's (which I love). I just purchased another Vivitar XV-1 and can't wait to get out and run it through it's paces. To bad most new photographers start out with auto-everything. They are really missing the joy of the craft.
My first was a Minolta HiMatic 9 purchased from Marshall Field &Co. at their store in downtown Chicago, December, 1969.
It met an untimely end when someone in my family, whoever is was never owned up to it, spilled a Pepsi all over it, wiped up the external signs and the shutter stuck tight in the next couple of days after I got back home.