This found photo makes me laugh on so many levels. Again, it's all in the details.


There are lots of snapshots floating around of kids in costumes, so the Indian costume is not all that important, though it does add to the oddness. No, what makes this shot funny is the dour/bored look on the child's face in unintentional juxtaposition with what's written around the outside trim.

          "Don't you wish you had a nice little brother playmate like me"

What exactly was going through this boys head? He could be annoyed that he had to take a break from his playtime to pose for the shot. He could have been sitting there quietly contemplating his history as a great chief when mom walked by with the camera saying, "Oh, you're so precious. Just hold still." Or he could be sadly lamenting that he actually doesn't have anyone to play with. Whatever his thoughts, the caption certainly doesn't sell him as a joyous funster. So who exactly did mom write this message for? Who was she trying to convince that her boy was fun?

And then I flip the photo over and there's the stamp on the back. "KODAK PRINT BY THAT MAN GALE" seems like a really interesting way to refer to yourself. 

          "So, where did you get these prints made?" 
          "Oh you know, that man."


How did Gale, that man, decide on this as his catchphrase? Was he a person of low self-esteem who had always been referred to as "that boy" while growing up and now, having chosen a profession, decided to be "that man" but with his name in large cap letters as a reminder he was now somebody? Did husbands come home from work and hear their wives talking on the party line saying, "Oh, you should see what that man gave me today." Me thinks Gale had a bit of a funny bone and knew exactly what he was doing. A brief bit of genealogy about "That Man" can be found here. I haven't found anything else about him.


  1. Anonymous2/09/2009

    I don't think he is dour. I think he looks patient. Waiting.

    Not unlike the stoic Cigar Store Indian.
    Little boy Indian for decoration.

    Dia Mond

  2. Hmmmm...could be. Could be. Perhaps he grew up to be comic Steven Wright. He was a really funny kid around the house but it just didn't show up in the family photos. You had to be there. She'd take him shopping and when they'd meet a neighbor his mom would say, "Stevie, say something funny to Mrs. Johnson." and he'd just stand there and look like this. HIs mom was always convinced he was hysterical.

  3. Anonymous2/10/2009

    yes,yes, hysterical kid.

    A mom knows.

    And she captured it in this photo.