As a teen, Leigh Mansberg’s parents took her out of school for two weeks to roam around Paris as a family.
Whimsey, perhaps, but what made the trip seem ordained was that Piedmont Airlines and the early Polaroid instant cameras were sponsoring a joint promo. For every 20 cameras a customer bought, Piedmont knocked $500 off a plane fare.
Mansberg’s mother, who owned a gift shop in her hometown of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, bought 200 Polaroids and sold them in the shop at face value. And the family was off.
Even more than that ingenuity, Mansberg, 53, remembers how much one discovery led to another, across time and arrondissements — the word itself a lesson — and how seriously fun it was to learn in the moment.