8/26/09

As we BID ADIEU to the palm trees and sunsets...


Jean must bid adieu to her Hawaiian adventure and head back to San Francisco to her real life. Did she throw her lei overboard hoping it would reach the shores guaranteeing her return to the islands? We'll never know. She had at least four and a half days of seaside pleasure before sailing back into the Golden Gate. There's a very good possibility that she did not sale beneath the Golden Gate Bridge because it might not yet have been built. It's hard for me to imagine the bay without the bridge.

Aboard the S. S. Manoa_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

A friend left today on a trip to Europe aboard a cruise ship out of New York. We talked on Monday about what cruising has become today. She got her first taste back in the early 60s aboard the Lurline. She was smitten and has been on many cruises, including one around the world. I'm envious of being on the high seas, but not envious of being on one of the current mega-ships with thousands upon thousands of passengers. We laughed about all the waste the ship must keep on board from port to port. We wondered if they could really have enough life boats on board to handle the thousands of people who would need to abandon ship. I joked that perhaps the pillow on your bed was now your flotation device. We pondered whether they have a room full of Zodiacs waiting to be inflated.

I hope my friend has a pleasant journey and comes home with stories to make me laugh. I'd sure like to have heard the story this fellow in this vernacular photo wearing the headband would have told about his adventure. 

8/24/09

KODAK IN HAWAII


I found this little ad online in a book called The Aloha Guide: The Standard Handbook of Honolulu and the Hawaiian Islands by Ferdinand J. H. Schnack, published i n 1915. I wish I could get my hands on a copy of the book. I found it at Google Books which unfortunately never completely loads for me. But if you'd enjoy taking a look at the book click here. Lots of fun old ads and information.

8/23/09

Let me STRUM YOU A WIKI WAKI TUNE


Here we have another snapshot of Jean on her Hawaiian adventure. Ukulele's were very popular at the beginning of the last century so maybe she already knew how to play before her exotic vacation. I sure wish she'd taken the opportunity to go a bit more native in her clothing. She should have kicked off her shoes and gone a little wild and left the pearls at home. But casual Hawaiian clothing for tourists was still a few decades away. Think Aloha shirts and brightly printed muu muus. Let her hair down, put a flower behind her ear, a brightly colored dress, and bare feet and the folks back home would have thought she'd gone absolutely pagan.

Jean playing ukulele
Click on image to see it larger.

I don't know who these fellows are, but I'm suspicious they were drivers for either the Royal Hawaiian or the Moana since each hotel was owned by the Matson Lines. Tourists could get a package deal by going on the Matson ship to Hawaii and then staying at one of Matson's hotels. I'm imagining it was the job of these fellows to drive the visitors to various spots on the island and bring them back happy and exhausted each evening to a nice meal at the hotel and the setting sun.

playing ukulele
Click on image to see it larger.

And nothing said Hawaii to a Mainlander more back in the 1930s than Bing Crosby with his faux Hawaiian songs. These old songs and old clips for me are as much ephemera as the printed piece. I know technically they're not, but they're all part of times long ago now all but forgotten. They put the people in the photos in some sort of context and it gives me a moment to step-back-in-time and experience that world.


8/22/09

Pinch me, I'M DOING THE HULA


I have an album of photos of a woman named Jean who took a trip from San Francisco to Hawaii aboard the S. S. Manoa back in the late 20s or early 30s. The Manoa was part of the fleet of ships owned by Matson Lines. I'm just not sure exactly when the trip took place. I have no other information about her except for shots of her standing in front of things in Hawaii or aboard ship. There are also some snapshots of her friends. This shot is one of the more "wild" shots in the book. 

Go Jean, go! Shake it baby, shake it! Kick up your heels and let your hair down. Go native and feel the lahala mat beneath your bare feet. Catch the scent of a plumeria as the tradewinds blow by. What happens in Hawaii stays in Hawaii...except for the gossip the whole way home aboard ship. 

Jean doing the Hula_tatteredandlost

I'll just call this the Vernacular Photography Hula. It is a category. I must hunt for more.

Additional silliness: I just found this and had to add it. It fits the fun feeling of women out on their own taking a cruise to Hawaii.

8/21/09

You can't see the ROYAL HAWAIIAN anymore


I can remember exactly where I was 50 years ago tonight. I was sitting outside my best friends house on Oahu watching the bonfire at the dump way off in the distance. Our two families sat in beach chairs celebrating the day Hawaii became the 50th state. For awhile it seemed the bonfire was about all we were going to see until it was decided we should go down to Waikiki and see what was going on. Surely Statehood should be celebrated by something other than a distant bonfire. And indeed Waikiki was a wild party. I remember sitting in the '56 Chevy Bel Air convertible riding down Kalakaua Ave. seeing people dancing in the street. It was bumper to bumper traffic and lots of noise and colors. It was great, better than any New Year's party. I'm happy to have experienced something few people in this country will have ever experienced. 

I don't know when this photo was taken. Most likely in the 1940s. When I moved to Hawaii the Royal Hawaiian and the Moana, the hotel on the right, were still standouts in Waikiki. Now you can barely see them. I'm saddened for what Waikiki became, but glad I got to see it before the palm trees gave way to cement. Once upon a time the grounds of the Royal stretched to Kalakaua Ave. and were a magical place to visit. Not much left of it anymore. I'm glad I have the memories.

Happy Statehood Hawaii. Aloha 'Oe.

Waikiki_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

With chagrin: Well, apparently I didn't know where I was this night 50 years ago. All these years I've had things mixed up in my mind. What I'm actually remembering is when Statehood had passed. It took the Honolulu Star Bulletin to set me straight. That plus my friend reminding me she was Japan in August of 1959. So what I remember is Statehood being declared and the party that ensued afterwards including the bonfire on Sand Island. Here's how the Star Bulletin explained it on March 12, 1959.

8/20/09

BILL AND DICK'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE continued

Here we have Bill and Dick at Coney Island on their 1914 cross country adventure. You can see Bill in the earlier post "Bill and Dick's Excellent Adventure" in Washington D.C. 

Now, it's time for a sing-a-long. Pitch pipe please. Does everybody know the tune? Okay, sing along.
In the sea, in the sea, 
To our knees in the sea.
You and I, you and I, 
Barely wet we will be.

When those waves come a rollin' in 
We will sink or swim 
And if we are lucky
Find a honey.

Over and over
We'll try every day.
By the end of the week
Once again on our way.

I love to be inside the sea,
Beside the sea,
Beside the seaside,
By the beautiful sea.

Bill and Ted in the sea_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

With apologies to Harold Atteridge and Harry Carroll who composed the original By the Beautiful Sea in 1914 for the musical "For Me and My Gal".

8/19/09

This is AS FAR AS I GO


It took me a long time to be able to do handstands and cartwheels. Then I had this brief period where I could do them easily and now the fear of breaking something makes me not even ponder the thought. You get to a certain age and the ground just looks too far away with too many consequences.

This photo was taken at Venice Beach, California so don't get it confused with THE Venice. Nope, this is the famous little town on the western edge of Los Angeles. You can read about Venice here. The Venice in this photo and the Venice of today have little resemblance other than people still go there to do whacky things and be photographed.

Venice Beach 1919_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

I imagine doing tumbling of any sort in these suits was a challenge, especially if they were wet. But then you don't ever really see people swimming in these things. Wading seems to be the most they ever did. Go to the beach and wade. Take a picnic and wade. 

"Don't go in the water at least an hour after eating. Okay, half-an-hour. Alright, 15 minutes. Wait 15 minutes or you might get a cramp and drown." Where did that ever come from? Do people still say it to their kids? How many of us managed to go in before the hour and are still here to see another day? Raise your hands if you survived swimming on a full stomach. Thank you.

8/18/09

What did you do THIS WEEKEND?


"So what did you do this weekend?

"Oh you know, just hung around at the beach."

hanging around_tatteredandlost

8/15/09

KODAK and snail mail


I'll let this 1964 ad speak for itself.

Today we have various mail order choices. 

Once upon a time it was only Kodak.

Little did people know they were receiving 
future flea market items directly to their home. 

Kodak Prepaid Processing ad_July 1964_tatteredandlost

8/13/09

I BURNED MY SOUL TODAY


Never judge a book by its cover nor a blog post by its title.  

Don't be alarmed. I didn't have a private meeting with the devil today hoping to exchange my pathetic soul for wealth. No, I just walked barefoot out my door onto the sizzling hot pavement and soon looked like a drop of water in a cast iron frying pan full of hot oil. I was hoppin' and a poppin', huntin' for somewhere to sooth my poor feet. I found relief on the lawn beneath the shade of an apple tree. Ahhhhhhhhhh. The cool of the green blades between my parched tootsies. Brought back memories of childhood and the giggling fun of running through the lawn sprinkler. 

I can remember begging my mom to turn the sprinkler on so I could play. Darting in and out, giggling, spinning in the spray. Of course my dad used to like to suddenly turn it off just to see the expression on my face and then BAM! he'd turn it back on to my shock and delight.

These little girls aren't wet enough to have been playing in the water. Either they just stopped by for a drink of dirty hose water or they're just getting started. I've never seen a watering can this large nor have I ever seen a sprinkler system like this. Seems pretty practical. Too bad they don't sell them now. Then again, maybe they do. 

summer sprinkler_tatteredandlost

Don't believe I've ever gone looking for a sprinkler in a hardware store. I did once go looking for a watering can and was dismayed to find most were made out of plastic. There was a metal one with a very long spout made in France. It was too ooooh la la for me at the price they were asking. I eventually did find a nice old fashioned metal one which over the years has aged with a nice patina. Nothing better than an old watering can with a nice patina, is there? What? Did someone say chocolate? Chocolate is better than a watering can with a nice patina? Yeah. Chocolate is better than just about anything. Except for chocolate on hot pavement. I'm just sayin'.

8/10/09

The one that DIDN'T GET AWAY


"I'm a tellin' ya Jake, it was a big one. Could a swallowed me whole."

"Yeah, sure Pete. Pull my other leg."

"I'm not kiddin'. I fought it for over an hour, nearly pulled me into the old Muddy."

"Whatever you say Pete."

"Dang nabbit! I've got that photograph around here somewheres. You just wait. You gonna be eaten them words."

"Well, while you're up would you get me another beer?"

"No I won't get you no beer! I want you sober when you see this photo of me with that...dang nabbit, where'd I put them photos? Mabel, you seen my photos of the fish?"

"What fish Pete?"

"You know exactly what fish I'm talkin' bout."

"Oh, ummmmm...aren't they in your drawer?"

"No they ain't in my drawer."

"Well, then I don't know. I really don't. That's the last place I saw them."

"I swear to you Jake, there's a picture of me with that fish. Huge thing."

"Uh huh."

"Here's your beer."

"Thanks. What's for dinner tonight?"

"What do you think?"

fish story_tatteredandlost

8/9/09

Lost and ALONE


I have no information about this photograph. I don't know if this World War I graveyard is stateside or in Europe. It's sad, mysterious, and just plain interesting. Nothing is written on the back. Perhaps someday someone will stumble across it in Flickr who knows something about it.

World War I cemetery_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

List of names that I was able to clearly read:
  1. Charles A. Vogt / Pvt 50Co.T.C. 17 Grand Div / Died 1919
  2. Charles J. Vallier Jr. / Sgt. 311 Engrs  / Died Mar. 6. 1919
  3. John C Zitzmann / Col or Sgt Heqrs Co 312 ??? / Died Oct. 13. 1918
  4. Macgo Alston / Pvt CoD 304 Labor ??? / Died Jan. 6. 1919
  5. Robert Illig / Pvt Co A 38 Engrs / Died 
  6. Edward P Bowe?? / Wagoner
  7. Clarence V. Fanning / Pvt Co D 312 Engrs / Died Jan. 7. 1919
  8. Michael J Connolly / Pvt Hdqs Co ??? / Died ??? 
  9. Walter C Skole / Mechanic CoG 344 Inf / Died ???
  10. Albert C. Welch / Sgt. CoF 348 Inf / Died Feb. 5. 1919
  11. Ernest Bisbee / Wagoner Sply Co 348 Inf / Died Nov. 4. 1918
  12. Eugene B. Ball / Corpl 15 Engrs / Died Mar. 13. 1919 
  13. David L Dosh??? / Cook CoM ??? / Died Feb. 9. 1919
To see the people in the photo even larger click here.

Update: The net is an amazing place. This photo can now be put into context with the world. Eloh, from the hysterically funny blog http://elohssanatahw.blogspot.com/, and Lori, a geneologist from http://www.familytreesmaycontainnuts.com, together filled in the pieces. I present to you their findings.

From Eloh:
I looked at the larger photo, wow, there is some "silent film" going on isn't there. A whole movie in the expressions and body language.

The woman, possibly Graves Registration? She's wearing what seems to be a campaign ribbon on her lapel. It could be a flower stem or a pencil in her right hand and it looks like papers between her purse and body.  I'm stumped with the pockets both full of hankies. They could be scented, but the exhumed remains really wouldn't be that stinky.  Maybe she just has a heart, maybe fashion?

The full bird colonel is obviously upset with her. He is used to getting things his way.  On his collar is the Engineer insignia and the Combat Infantrymans. Color is a problem with the rank of the other two, but one thing about the Army, some things stay the same.  I'll still be guessing that the oak leaf is gold and that Major is the Colonels' Aid. (Personel secretary).  Color problems again, and again it would normally be a silver bar of a First Lieutenant, could be a Captain at that angle of the photo, but he is young and not paying attention to his surroundings, he is only interested in what that Bird Colonel wants. He is also wearing Engineer Insignia. I can't make out the patch, left sholder it would tell us what "Army" he was assigned to. 
(7th Army has been in Europe since  WWII)

I noticed in your list of names a Junior and thought it the most likely to connect up to something useful.  I was lucky as he did have a child.

This is a relocation of soldiers killed in France.

Charles J. Vallier Jr. / Sgt. 311 Engrs  / Died Mar. 6. 1919
 
 Born:  10 Jul 1888  Place:  Of, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
 Died:  6 Mar 1919  Place:  , , , France
Wife's Name
 Mae MINN   
 
Born:  Abt. 1892  Place:    
 
one child listed as still living.

It will be very interesting to find out where his body is today.
From Lori:
I am pretty sure the cemetery is Suresnes, Ile de France, France. The American military cemetery at Suresnes was established in 1917 by the Graves Registration Service of the Army Quartermaster Corps. A majority of the World War I dead buried there died of wounds or sickness in hospitals located in Paris or at other places administered by the Services of Supply. (Many were victims of the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919.) The graves area consists of four burial plots: three of World War I, with a total of 1541 graves, and one of World War II, containing the graves of 24 unknown soldiers, sailors, or airmen.
 
At least one of the names (Ernest Bisbee) on the list is buried there. I didn’t find any family trees looking for Charles Vallier.
Thanks to both of you for helping to fill in the pieces. Perhaps someday someone looking for information about their ancestors will find this photo online.

8/6/09

HANS IN BERLIN October 10, 1927


I love this photo. It's very small, but was obviously taken with a very good lens. The size shown here is at 400% of the original size so you can see that the clarity of the shot would allow it to be enlarged even more. It was purchased at a flea market along with a few other photos taken around the same time period in Germany.

Hans_tatteredandlost

I'm not positive of the message because of the handwriting, but I believe it says "My loving Aunt Lena and Uncle ??? from your nephew Hans." He fascinates me. He looks like a character from a movie. If he was around 20 when this shot was taken he would have been in his 30s during the war. Can't help but wonder what became of him. Where he placed his hearts allegiance. 

Hans_back_tatteredandlost

The pose is interesting. Almost looks as if he's walking towards the camera, but the feet make me think he's leaning against the tree. But it's not a casual comfortable letting-yourself-go leaning. There's a stiffness to it. He wants it to be just right. Almost as if posed as a model. A very serious and dapper young man. What mystery played out over the next 20 years and was he alive to see it?

8/5/09

Is it me or are SOME PEOPLE JUST NUTS?


Sorry, but I have no reference point for this. It's completely beyond me. After yesterday's sweet little Beetle Bug this looks like a bug cruncher. I've never understood why sane people would do this to a car. Okay, I think within that last statement I answered my own question. Whoever owned this must have swooned the first time they saw a Hummer. Cars like this scare me. No, wait...owners of cars like this scare me.

car_tatteredandlost
Really, unless you need to know the license plate, don't click to see it larger.

This photograph is not worth the paper it's printed on, but somewhere out there someone has fond memories of this thing. And so it now remains tattered and I certainly hope this car is long ago lost. A case of truly ugly vernacular photography. Into each life a little ugliness...may end up in your neighbors driveway.

8/3/09

Were you a POLAROID SWINGER?

I didn't know any Swingers. Still don't. I've lived a sheltered life. But for those who did Polaroid Swing in the 1960s this is for you. From the December 3, 1966 TV Guide.

The Polaroid Swinger ad_12.3.1966_tatteredandlost

Somehow I think with our attention spans today most people wouldn't even be able to handle the 15 second wait to develop the shot before they'd be screaming, "Come on already!!" 

According to the good old standby source for "just the facts ma'am" Wikipedia says:
The Polaroid Model 20 "Swinger" was a popular Land Camera produced by the Polaroid Corporation between 1965 and 1970. At $19.95 USD it was the first truly inexpensive instant camera, a fact that helped fuel its enormous popularity and made it one of the top-selling cameras of all time. The Swinger was especially successful in the youth market due to its low price, stylish appearance, and catchy "Meet the Swinger" jingle in a television advertisement featuring a young Ali MacGraw.

The Swinger featured an extinction exposure meter tied to the aperture which displayed the word "YES" in a window below the viewfinder when the exposure was set correctly. Earlier models also displayed the word "NO" when not properly adjusted, while later units used only the YES indicator. The Swinger also included a built-in flashgun for AG-1 flashbulbs.

The Swinger used Polaroid's 20-Series roll film, which was the first Polaroid roll film to develop outside the camera.

Variants included the Model M-15 "Swinger Sentinel" (the Swinger II in non-US markets), which was a cheaper Swinger without the built-in flash, and the Model 3000 "Big Swinger", which used 100-Series pack film instead of the old-style picture rolls. The Swinger name was also used on several international-market Polaroid cameras in the 1960s and 1970s.
Now, for your viewing pleasure, and I use the term "pleasure" lightly because by the end of this you might be pulling your hair out.



Seriously, we're now used to 15 second commercials. This one is a minute. It begins to feel like an eternity after Barry Manilow has sung "Meet the Swinger, Polaroid Swinger" the third time. And yes, that is Ali McGraw pre-Love Story.

So how do you think the whole film developing on the beach in blowing sand actually worked out?

Now, will someone please get this song out of my head!

8/2/09

There's a picture of PARIS HILTON IN HER ATTIC...


It's been some time since I posted any time-traveling-celebrities. Here's one that hasn't changed in nearly 100 years. Same pose, same coy look. I give you Paris Hilton on the beach, time-traveling-celebrity. Was she as annoying then as she is now? Did she ever have a purpose or has she sashayed through time doing the same ol' shtick. I'll let you decide.

Paris Hilton_time-traveling-celebrity_tatteredandlost