This real photo post card is one of my favorite images from my collection. A mistaken double exposure or a purposeful shot? It is a ghostly picnic.
Click on image to see it larger.
I always think of act three from Thorton Wilder's play Our Town when I look at it.
The Stage Manager opens the act with a lengthy monologue emphasizing eternity, and introduces us to the cemetery outside of town and the characters who died in the nine years since Act Two: Mrs Gibbs (pneumonia, while traveling), Wally Webb (burst appendix, while camping), Mrs Soames, and Simon Stimson (suicide by hanging), among others. We meet the undertaker, Joe Stoddard, and a young man Sam Craig who has returned home for his cousin's funeral. We learn that his cousin is Emily, who died giving birth to her and George's second child. The funeral ends and Emily emerges to join the dead. Then Mrs. Gibbs tells her that they must wait and forget the life that came before, but Emily refuses. Despite the warnings of Simon, Mrs. Soames, and Mrs. Gibbs, Emily decides to return to Earth to re-live just one day, her 12th birthday. She finally finds it too painful, and realizes just how much life should be valued, "every, every minute." Poignantly, she asks the Stage Manager whether anyone realizes life while they live it, and is told, "No. The saints and poets, maybe – they do some." She then returns to her grave, beside Mrs. Gibbs, watching impassively as George kneels weeping at her graveside. The Stage Manager concludes the play, reflecting on the probable lack of life beyond Earth, and wishes the audience a good night. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)Did these young ladies and gentlemen mysteriously disappear following their gathering? Was there an accident? Perhaps a drowning from an overturned boat on the nearby lake? A vehicle overturned killing all aboard? Did they forever haunt the place where they last knew happiness together? We'll never know, but the image is certainly open to interpretation.
This is my Sepia Saturday contribution for the week.