and throw down your money! And it better be more than last week's allowance!
A stickup in the backyard.
Whighams Studio was owned by Minnie Seavy of San Francisco. She had two studios one on Mission and the other on Market. One of the newspapers had a baby photo contest which she won with two photos that were titled A Breath of Heaven Day/Night. I know she also owned a few flats as well.
Yes, Ralph Demeree is my grandfather, and I can tell you quite a bit from this photograph, but very little about the people in shown. This would have been shot in the late 1950's, based on the address of my grandfather's studio, and also because it was before my father joined the business in 1959. Air News Photos began in the early 50's, specializing, as the name implies, in the fledgling air travel industry, specifically in the San Francisco/Oakland area. This is an example of literally thousands of similar shots made by my grandfather, and in later years, by my dad, of groups traveling through the Bay Area, embarking on an adventure to far-off destinations via (in this case) TWA. Over the years, Air News Photos provided "home-towner" publicity photos for all of the major air carriers operating out of SFO and OAK. Typically, a group would make tour arrangements through a local travel agent, the airline would receive notification and dispatch Air News Photos to photograph the group prior to departure, and to gather personal information (local newspaper, home address, etc.). Then, a press release was written and sent out. The airline benefitted from the publicity, the newspapers had good, human-interest material, and the travelers were treated like celebrities. With slight variations, this was the bread-and-butter of the Air News Photos business model for more than 30 years. So, from the other rubber stamp on the back of the photo, I would guess these travelers were probably from Marin County, and they had their itinerary arranged by the Orrick agency. They were probably regular folks, possibly well-to-do, but not necessarily. Remember, everyone dressed to go out, even to see a movie! An aviation buff might be able to say definitively what type of aircraft they're boarding. My guess would be a Lockheed Constellation. TWA had a lot of them. Ralph Demeree died in 1980, after an adventurous life and career as a boxer, race car driver, musician, newspaper reporter and columnist, and photographer. To me, he was just Gramps. Thank you for your interest, and for giving me the opportunity to brag a little on my family's business. —Paul Osborne