When the red light of Melvin Roberts' darkroom was on, his sons learned quickly not to open the door. If they were inside helping their father process his film, they had to stay inside until he finished.
"It was no bathroom breaks, no 'I'm hungry, Dad,' or anything else," recalled Ronnie Roberts.
"We'd always want in there, and of course we'd want back out, but we were trapped," said David Roberts, recalling his feelings as a young boy of being stuck for a few minutes that seemed like forever.
Both sons enjoyed helping their father develop his film. They recalled the painstaking routine of dipping the pictures in trays filled with chemical processors, then washing them off in the sink, the wooden tongs, and the way the photographs would dry.
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Now, having found hundreds, maybe thousands, of pictures the late York attorney and former mayor took over the course of his life, the Roberts brothers are allowing the McCelvey Center to archive the photos so the community can see them, too.
Ronnie and David discovered the photographs while going through some of the belongings of their father, who was slain in his home earlier this year.
The images range from portraits of friends and community groups, to documentary photography Roberts used in his lawsuits. They include pictures of:
Sunday school groups, kindergarten classes, Boy Scout troops, high school graduations, brides and grooms, and social gatherings
Aerial shots of downtown York
Historic homes and buildings, including churches that no longer exist, such as the Filbert Church
Accidents, including train, car, and tractor crashes Roberts took for legal purposes.
Pictures of Roberts and other service members taken while he served in the U.S. Army with the 134th General Hospital in Korea.
"There I am in the school play," David Roberts said, flipping through one of his father's many catalogs of photo negatives.
Of special interest to York County are pictures Roberts took in the 1950s and 1960s - a period of time during which the county lacks a photographic record.
And it turns out, Roberts was pretty skilled.
"It's not often that you get a collection of photographs this varied and this detailed," said Michael Scoggins, a historian with the Culture and Heritage Museums who's cataloging the photographs at the McCelvey Center.
Before the public can access the photos, they will have to be indexed so they can be searched.
That could take a while, since the Roberts brothers are still finding more and more photographs.
But once complete, the Melvin L. Roberts collection will be "a tremendous resource for York County history," Scoggins said.
Roberts had tucked away in his credenza several albums filled with film negatives of people, places and events in and around York, carefully catalogued with dates, places and names.
The collection will be useful to people researching family histories, "or they might actually be the people in the photos," Scoggins said.
The McCelvey Center is open to creating a book later, he said.
"Dad never had any intentions of doing anything with these," Ronnie Roberts said, while poring over the albums with his brother at the McCelvey Center.
"He was always very humble in not making a big deal of the things he had done," he said.
Like the picture of David's childhood Sunday school class: "Everyone in that picture has it hanging in their houses. I never knew he took it," David said.
He recently found that photograph in his father's negatives.
"Anything, local events and things like that, he would take pictures," said Martie Cody Bailes, who was a teenager when Roberts photographed her sitting on her horse.
"That was the love of my life - that was my Charlie," she said.
The Roberts brothers hope others will explore their father's collection once it is available to the public, discovering that they, too, or people they know might have been captured in Roberts' lens.
"McCelvey is where the pictures need to be," David said, "and it's a way to create a legacy for Dad."