Sadness overcame the Little Snow Man as he saw the ground turn brown beneath him.


Not so FROSTY THE SNOW MAN vernacular photograph

This is a happy little snow man. I have no idea where this snapshot was taken.

On the back is written:
Jan. 2, 1948
Snow man Kenny, Jackie & I built around new year.
I've been waiting for the perfect time to post the three shots in this series. I thought that since I might finally be getting back on my feet and did a post at my ephemera site about Frosty the Snow Man I'd post these here.

Over the next few days, fever and cough permitting, I will post the remaining two. I don't want to post them all at once. This little snow man had his own little life, short as it was, and I'm going to respect that.



Have yourself your own Christmas Story.

And remember, don't eat the bird until it's fully cooked. You'll get worms.



Here I am in all my snowsuit glory meeting Santa in 1952. I imagine it was in Harrisburg, PA. I'm entranced and this probably led to my very long belief in the old fellow. Wait, I still believe when I go outside on a crisp Christmas Eve and look up into the dark sky and see something moving. Okay, it's just a plane or satellite, I know that. I prefer to imagine it's Santa in his sleigh. That makes me smile. Planes and satellites not so much.


PATIENCE is a virtue

Patience is a virtue, but try telling that to kids as they wait for Christmas day. Not going to work.

This is sort of a strange place when you get into the details. The tv seems to be up on something like cinder blocks. And I'm enjoying the star studded sky backdrop between the tv and the window. Fun and interesting. I'm hoping somewhere beneath that tree are clothes for the dolls. Hate seeing "nekid" dolls being dragged around.

small apartment Christmas_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger. I swear that should be back up and working again.

Well it was their Christmas and let's hope it was a happy one.



Well isn't this odd? It's always fun to see how many department store/mall Santa's stray from our neat little image of Santa. The kid in Santa's lap probably never noticed. He was just hoping he'd get what was on his list. Of course, beyond Santa's very dark eyebrows, it's just an odd picture that neither Santa nor the kid seem to be in the moment with each other. They're both distracted. The guy is counting the minutes until his break or is completely stoned and the kid is looking at his parents hoping for their approval. I hope they all laughed about this shot years later. I know when I found it at the flea market I laughed and thought "Oh, I have to have this one."

department store Santa_tatteredandlost

Okay, seriously, when I look at this Santa I think Rasputin. Don't ask. That's just how my mind works. I always go for the odd. Also probably the only time "Santa" and "Rasuputin" will end up next to each other in the label section.



Here's another oldie from last year that bears repeating. I will say nothing. It's all here within the shot. Some wonderfully odd family dynamics captured. Look into the details. It's just plain odd. I love this shot! Oops, I gave it away. A moment caught by the camera that told, most likely, nothing but lies.

Click on image to see it larger. The only way you'll really see the details.


Nothing says Christmas more than MONEY!

This is a recycled image in that it was included in my very first post last year. Thus I'm thinking really nobody ever saw this. Just recycle it. It's worthy of recycling because it's in such stunningly bad taste. And you thought those Christmas photo cards you got from friends and family were scream inducing. Imagine getting this. Really, what do you say? 

It makes me think of the time a friend asked that everyone give money to her parents anniversary party because she and her brother were trying to raise enough to send her folks on a cruise. So here's how it worked. There was a big surprise party for her folks and then at the end of the party my friend and her brother counted up the cash and then it was "Gee mom and dad, sorry...your friends just didn't care enough to send you on a cruise, but hey...you can get a couple good meals at Red Lobster. But really, we'd planned on a cruise. Sorry."

Yeah, money. Does odd things to people. May your Christmas be green.


SISTERS, SISTERS...there were never more devoted sisters

Sisters. My sister is my best friend. No genetic relationship. We chose to be sisters. These three are all related and apparently in August of 1908 in Pacific Grove, California (which is near Carmel and Monterey) decided to document this. The Blasdel sisters, all living in different places came together that August. And then they decided to send a copy of this photo to their friend Beatrice French Bolt in Cleveland, Ohio. Other than that I know nothing.

Click on any image to see them larger.


The real mystery is who is the woman on the back of the cardboard mount? A transfer off of another photo showing a woman in some sort of graduation robe. I bought this photo a long time ago and it was hidden away in the chest I opened the other day. I'd remembered the sisters, but had forgotten about the shadow woman on the back. Interesting, yes?


And it's Christmas time which means for me Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby in White Christmas which of course means I have this song running through my head. This movie used to be a holiday staple, now not so much. It's still one of my favorites.


MY BEST FRIEND meets Santa

My best friend, the one I've known for over 50 years, sent me her visit with Santa in 1951. I quote her:
I am chewing on a metal plane. Santa's assistant thought I was a boy and gave me the airplane. (so my mother told me. I don't actually remember this particular event.)
That's another thing my best friend and I share. People thought we were little boys during our first year. Oh the pain of it. Scared my life forever. Nah.

Dia_Christmas 51_tattered and lost

Now are there any other brave souls willing to step forward with their first Santa picture? You know you're out there. You know you're envisioning it in your mind's eye right now. Come on...be a sport. Send me a link or a shot. Watermark if you want and I'll leave mine off. Or tell me how you want it watermarked. Whatever you like.

Update: Now here's the spirit. Carol, from Funoldhag, has posted a shot of her children on Santa's lap in 1956. Thanks Carol for adding to the fun!

EDDIE ELEPHANT by Johnny Gruelle

See Eddie Elephant over on the left? Nothing to do with vernacular photography. However, if you go over to my ephemera site you'll find out a little bit about Eddie. Just in case there was any confusion. Nah, it's simply a ploy to get you to look at the other site too.



Okay, I'll admit it, this ad isn't going to be of much help if you're hoping to buy camera gear for someone for Christmas. Kodachrome alone bit the dust this year. But if you were looking through the December issue of National Geographic in 1952 this ad might have given you all sorts of ideas. Yessiree, some film in the stocking and a Kodak under the tree. Good times. Good times. The beginning of the next years crop of vernacular photography. We benefit now. Will people benefit 50+ years from now from the pictures taken with this years digital cameras? Will there be any prints to survive. I hope so.

Kodak ad_December 1952_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it  larger.


Let's take a trip on the SERGEANT C. E. MOWER

Searching through a drawer last night, hunting for my grandmother's watch, I came upon this card. Every so often I find this card hidden in the bottom of the drawer covered by clothing. This is a card my mother wrote to her mother in the early 1950s.

Sgt. C. E. Mower_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

This is the ship I sailed on when I was around 18 months old. My family was on their way to Midway Island where we would live for a year. This ship, the Sergeant C. E. Mower, sailed from San Francisco to Hawaii transporting military personal and their families. Until now the mere mention of Sgt. Mower would bring laughs in our home because of the memories my folks have of the roughest sea voyage in their lives. But then tonight I decided to do a little bit of research online and came to have a more clear perspective of the history of this, as my mother called it, "crate."

The following is from Wikipedia and is quite interesting.  
USS Tryon (APH-1) was laid down as SS Alcoa Courier (MC hull 175) on 26 March 1941, by the Moore Dry Dock Company, Oakland, California and launched on 21 October 1941 sponsored by Mrs. Roy G. Hunt. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, she was designated for U.S. Navy use and assigned the name Comfort in June 1942. Comfort was renamed Tryon on 13 August 1942, acquired by the U.S. Navy on 29 September 1942, and commissioned on 30 September 1942, with Comdr. Alfred J. Byrholdt in command.

World War II
Tryon, an Evacuation Transport, got underway for San Diego on 9 October 1942 and departed from there on the 21st, bound for New Caledonia. On 7 November, she arrived at Noumea; joined the Service Squadron, South Pacific; and remained with that organization for the next 15 months, evacuating combat casualties from the Solomons to Suva, Noumea, Wellington, Auckland, and Brisbane. On her return trips to the forward areas, she carried priority cargo and troops for forces fighting the Japanese.

Tryon's first combat duty came in the Marianas during the summer of 1944. On 16 July, she joined Task Force 51 at Lunga Point and sortied for the invasion of Tinian. The hospital transport arrived off the beaches on the 24th, combat loaded with troops and equipment. After unloading, she embarked casualties for a week and then got underway for the Marshalls. The ship called at Eniwetok, New Caledonia, Espiritu Santo, and the Russell Islands before anchoring off Guadalcanal on 27 August 1944.

Tryon embarked 1,323 Marines of the 1st Marine Division and sortied on 8 September 1944, with Transport Division 6 of Task Force 32, for the assault on the Palaus. She was off the beaches of Peleliu on the morning of the 15th and disembarked elements of the assault wave. Then, serving as a hospital evacuation ship, she embarked 812 combat casualties and, on the 20th, stood out for Manus. She disembarked the patients at Seeadler Harbor four days later and headed back to Peleliu the next morning. The ship remained off the beaches from 28 September to 4 October and then joined a convoy bound for the Solomons.

USS Tryon (APH-1) at sea during World War II
When Tryon arrived at Tulagi on 11 October, she was assigned to the 7th Fleet to participate in the Leyte campaign. She called at Hollandia and Humboldt Bay en route and reached Leyte on the 30th. The ship completed unloading the next day and began the return voyage to the South Pacific. The transport loaded troops and cargo at Langemak Bay from 13 through 27 December and headed for Manus on 28 December 1944.

On 2 January 1945, Tryon stood out of Manus with Task Group 77.9, the reinforcement group, for the invasion of Luzon on the beaches of the Lingayen Gulf. She arrived off San Fabian on the morning of the 11th and began unloading troops and supplies. From 13 to 27 January, she received casualties on board and headed to Leyte Gulf where they were transferred to USS Hope (AH-7) and USS Bountiful (AH-9). On 2 February, she joined a convoy and departed for the Solomons.

On 22 February, the evacuation hospital ship got underway and proceeded via Pearl Harbor to the United States for an overhaul. She arrived at San Francisco on 11 March and remained in the navy yard until 20 May. After refresher training in San Diego, she sailed for Hawaii on 3 June and arrived at Pearl Harbor the following week. The transport then called at Eniwetok, Guam, and San Francisco before returning to Hawaii on 2 August. The next day, she headed for Guam and arrived there on the 15th to hear that hostilities with Japan had ceased. Tryon was routed to the Philippines, embarked occupation troops at Leyte, and joined a convoy for Japan on 1 September. The transport disembarked the troops at Yokohama and received liberated Allied prisoners of war en board for transportation to the Philippines. She disembarked them at Manila on the 18th.

Post-war operations
On 1 October, Tryon was assigned to the "Magic Carpet" fleet which was established at the end of the war to return troops to the United States. She served with it through the end of the year. In mid-January 1946, the ship was slated for inactivation. She was decommissioned at Seattle on 20 March 1946, returned to the War Shipping Administration in April, and struck from the Navy list on 17 April 1946.

Tryon was turned over to the United States Army on 17 July 1946 and converted into a troop transport by the Todd Shipyard, Seattle, Washington. She emerged from the yard on 25 August 1947 and was placed in service as USAT Sgt. Charles E. Mower.

The Secretary of Defense, by a directive dated 2 August 1949, established a unified sea transportation service; and, on 1 March 1950, the ship was transferred back to the Navy Department, assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service, and designated T-AP-186. USNS Sgt. Charles E. Mower operated as a dependent transport shuttling between San Francisco and Pearl Harbor until she was inactivated in 1954.

Sgt. Charles E. Mower was placed out of service, in reserve, on 16 June 1954; transferred to the reserve fleet at Suisun Bay; and struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1960.
Okay, I had no idea this little joke in our family had such a history. And what's even stranger is that for a long time I lived near where this ship was mothballed and every time I drove by the mothball fleet in Suisun I was driving by a ship I'd once sailed on. Hadn't a clue. It might still be there.

Now as to why the ship was named the Sargeant C. E. Mower, also from Wikipedia:
Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor
Charles E. Mower (November 29, 1924 - November 3, 1944) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

Mower joined the Army from his birth city of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and by November 3, 1944 was serving as a Sergeant in Company A, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. During an attack against Japanese positions that day, near Capoocan, Leyte, in the Philippines, Mower took command of his squad after the leader was killed and led his men from an exposed position despite being seriously wounded. He was killed during the battle and, on February 11, 1946, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Mower was buried at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Taguig City, the Philippines.
Medal of Honor citation
Sergeant Mower's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
"He was an assistant squad leader in an attack against strongly defended enemy positions on both sides of a stream running through a wooded gulch. As the squad advanced through concentrated fire, the leader was killed and Sgt. Mower assumed command. In order to bring direct fire upon the enemy, he had started to lead his men across the stream, which by this time was churned by machinegun and rifle fire, but he was severely wounded before reaching the opposite bank. After signaling his unit to halt, he realized his own exposed position was the most advantageous point from which to direct the attack, and stood fast. Half submerged, gravely wounded, but refusing to seek shelter or accept aid of any kind, he continued to shout and signal to his squad as he directed it in the destruction of 2 enemy machineguns and numerous riflemen. Discovering that the intrepid man in the stream was largely responsible for the successful action being taken against them, the remaining Japanese concentrated the full force of their firepower upon him, and he was killed while still urging his men on. Sgt. Mower's gallant initiative and heroic determination aided materially in the successful completion of his squad's mission. His magnificent leadership was an inspiration to those with whom he served."
To see a photo of Sgt. Charles E. Mower click on this link.  

Now, as to what my mother wrote inside the card...
Wed. Morning

Dear Mother,
Thought I would let you know how we are making out. This is the ship we are on. It is supposed to be the smallest ship on the Hawaii run, and boy does it ever rock. In fact one of the sailors said it would even rock in dry dock. What a crate. We have a nice state room and private bath. The food is excellent. We were late in leaving Frisco so won't arrive until tomorrow (Thursday) in Hawaii.
Let me tell you we weren't out of the Golden Gate an hour before everyone aboard started to get sea sick. Sat. night was a rough night. I think every sailor and Marine aboard was sick. Sat. night they only had two guards left on duty and one of them was so sick he could barely hold his head up. Even the poor dog on board was sea sick. Some people are still below in their sacks. We are lucky we are on A deck. They have plenty of entertainment for the kids. Had an Easter party for them. They all got an Easter basket filled with candy. Had a birthday party for them yesterday and there are movies and story hours twice a day."
She then goes on to say about me that I was "an old salt. Never phased her" and that I was "running them ragged on deck trying to keep up with me. You should have seen her Sat. night. All  night long she slid from one end of the crib to the other and when the ship started to rock she sang 'bye baby bye.'" Apparently I was a bit of an existentialist even at a very young age. And now I find for good reason. My dad informed me this morning when I was discussing this card with him that on the really bad night I was nearly killed by a lamp. My crib was under the port hole. Across cabin was a metal desk with a large heavy brass lamp on top. During the pitching and tossing that night the lamp came flying across the room and just missed me by falling to the floor right before my crib.

Eventually we made it to Pearl Harbor and flew to Midway Island. My mother used to tell me about the approach to the island. My dad pointed out the window at the tiny island and said "There's where you're going to live for the next year." My mother was stunned. But other than the lack of fresh food it was apparently a really good year and I have old footage of me running along the beach chasing Gooney birds near rusted wreckage from the Battle of Midway that had occurred a little over ten years before we arrived.

I debated whether to put this on my ephemera blog or here in the vernacular photography blog. It was a toss up, could have gone either way. It's a card, it's a photo. It's two, two, two things in one. And now for me Sergeant Mower is two things in one. The ship on which I made my first sailing adventure and a man who gave his life for his country. Sort of an odd mix to find at the bottom of a drawer.

UPDATE: Below is a comment I received from Sgt. Mower's brother. Sir, thank you for honoring me with this message. I would be happy to post any other information you'd like to see on this page.
Brother of Sgt. Charles E. Mower    3/19/2013 
What a surprise finding all of this interest in the ship named after my brother. I'm sure he is looking down reading all the comments and has a big smile. He was a fun loving person, good athlete and loved to fish and hunt. The year '47 when the boat was converted from a hospital ship to troop transport our family was invited for the launching ceremonies. Cars and roads limited travel to about 500 miles in a day. It was quite a trip going from Wisconsin to Seattle, Washington.

My parents are now deceased along with one sister. My other sister and I live on the same lake (Wissota) just outside Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. I'm hoping she will give a report along with our 10 grandchildren. All the families have a picture of the ship hanging on their wall along with the medal of honor citation and picture of my brother.

When the ship was moth-balled the Navy sent us the three bronzed plaques that were on the ship giving the medal of honor history. One was given to our local American Legion post, one to our local McDonell High School that we all attended and one is mounted in a stone display in front of our local court house. The medal of honor along with pictures of the ship etc. have been turned over to the Chippewa County Historical Society.

Following graduation from high school my brother and two of his best friends (Ken Reiter/Bill O'Neil) decided to sign up for the service rather then waiting to be drafted. They called themselves the Three Musketeers. They first went to the Marines. My brother was color blind so he was turned down but they would accept the other two. They wanted to be together so then went to the Navy. After their physical they got the same story. Because of my brothers color blindness he would not qualify but they would accept his two buddies. They refused to be split up. They then went to the Army. At that time because of the war very few were ever refused. They all signed up together. Their day came when it was time for them to board the bus heading to Milwaukee. They were together until it came time to leave the bus. Then they lined up outside the bus according to alphabet. They never saw each other after that day.

I don't want this to be too long. I'll have to think about this some more and may put together another comment or two at a later time. I enjoy all of your comments and thank you so much.
UPDATE: Today I received the following page from the onboard Sgt. Mower newsletter dated Dec. 29, 1947 graciously supplied by reader D. Kauffman. There will be more to come! I still love that this post has touched so many people with their memories of this ship. Make sure to click on the half page images so you can read the newsletter.

D. Kaufmann was kind enough to scan even more pages from the shipboard newsletter. Thank you! I hope others find these as interesting as I do. Click on the images to see them larger.

The eternal Santa question of "HUH?"

Now whenever I see kids on a Santa's lap I think of the scene in "A Christmas Story" where the kids are mechanically thrown onto and off of Santa's lap by an elf with a bad attitude. You know it's happening out there. Kids left in a daze thinking "What the heck was that?" Wandering off through the mall, tightly gripping their parents hand, eyes huge as they try to process this moment.

santa_cell_no._tatteredandlost copy

Okay, so this might have been a visit to Santa in jail. What unfortunately looks like bars on the window and his cell number in front. I know, I know...it's not, but it makes me smirk to think about it.

Now remember, if you have a shot you've posted at your own site of your encounter with Santa I'd love to have the link. Or if you'd be willing to post it here let me know. I'll be digging around to find my own.


Thinking of casting A CHRISTMAS CAROL?

Thinking of doing a production of "A Christmas Carol" and you want to cast someone who really can get into the part of someone from Dicken's London? Perhaps this lady will do. She has the costume, the attitude, and as you can see her latest 8 x 10 is framed as a period piece.

Dickens character_tatteredandlost

Okay, so I know nothing about this woman other than she looks very Victorian. She's been lost in my office for many many years. I feared I'd thrown her out, but yesterday I found her, and a stack of photos I'd bought 30+ years ago, neatly stacked inside an old wooden chest buried under various old table cloths. There's nothing written on the back and the photographers stamp is confusing. I've tried a variety of spellings but nothing shows up on Google. I can't determine if it begins with "Aee", "Acc", "Nee", or "Mee", but nothing shows up no matter what. Any ideas?

Update: Thanks to Robert at Live From the Surface of the Moon for the following:
I think it's Allderige Art Co., which was in Wallingford, CT.



How often in your lifetime have you seen kids thrust into the lap of a department store/mall Santa only to see the kid go ballistic? All those times they've been told NOT to talk to strangers and now they're being told to tell this strange looking man EVERYTHING!

For many their first encounter with the jolly old man is less than jolly. I was fortunate because I was mesmerized. I have a photo of myself in a snowsuit sitting on Santa's lap. My mouth is open in awe and I'm staring at him. Love at first site. Not so for these kids.

You can almost hear the high pitched scream emanating from the one boy, irritating every person in the store, and making the other kids in line very very nervous. And the other boy just keeps repeating, "No! NO! NOOOOOO!" while being forced into Santa's face. I imagine he too was soon screaming at the top of his lungs. Did they need therapy after this? Were they handed a candy cane that they sucked on amidst their salty tears? Did their parents tell the Santa encounter story for years to come to all who would listen? All the adults smiling and laughing while the kids were flashing back on their holiday nightmare? I don't know. Like I said, I was in awe of Santa.

Have any good memories of meeting Santa? Do tell. Have a vernacular photo of your encounter? Do share.



Keeping with the image from yesterday I give you one of the photos that was not used on the cover of the infamous cookbook Cooking Outside: 101 Ways to Create Mud Pies which was a national bestseller in the early 20th century. I believe this is the same book that so inspired Martha Stewart to try catering. 

mud pies_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

This must have been quite a photo shoot. A rather warm day so the mud kept drying and cracking. Thus the bucket in front of the table where water was kept so that our little cooks could reinvigorate their tasty morsels for the camera. I believe that might be their editor zipping off on the left in search of flowers to festoon the poppyseed cake.

For anyone who didn't make mud pies for tea when they were little I'm deeply sorry for that gap in your childhood. However, have I got a book for you! 

Mud Pies and Other Recipes: A Cookbook for Dolls by Marjorie 
Winslow. I've put a link in the left column to used copies of the book at Amazon.

"For forty years, Mud Pies and Other Recipes has been the consummate cookbook for dolls, using only the finest ingredients found outside. All of the perennial doll favorites are here, including Dandelion SoufflĂ©, Wood Chip Dip, and, of course, Mud Pies. 

This special 40th anniversary hardcover edition now includes a Tea Party in the menu section, so that dolls with discriminating palates will be prepared for every social occasion. Erik Blegvad's classically fetching illustrations provide the perfect dressing for Marjorie Winslow's outdoor cookbook for dolls." (SOURCE: Amazon)

I know I'd be proud to have it on my shelf...even with the muddy fingerprints and grass stains. Not something you'd say about most cookbooks.



Have you been thinking of remodeling your kitchen? Been pouring over every single interior design magazine hoping to find the perfect counter top, perfect cupboards? Thinking of double pane windows? Wanting to tear your hair out because of all the possibilities?

Well, stop your complaining and take a look at this. We're talkin' basic kitchen. Counter tops...wood. Cupboards...wood. Windows...WHAT WINDOWS? I'm thinking Lincoln Logs.

Click on image to see it larger.

I doubt this woman had very many grandiose ideas about her kitchen other than wanting help and a chair to sit down on. This is your basic kitchen, country style, around the end of the 19th century or beginning of the 20th. It was hot when it was hot and it was cold when it was cold. The wind blew through day and night. I don't know where this shot was taken, but I'm hoping it wasn't anywhere near snow country or she also had to deal with snow drifts when she walked from one side to the other.

So if you're thinking you'd like to go with a rustic country look for your kitchen remodel print out this vernacular photograph and hand it to your interior designer and watch their eyes spin when you say, "Could you match this? Of course with a stainless steel fridge."


Virden redux

Many months ago, June 9th to be specific, I did a post about small town America featuring a real photo postcard of downtown Virden, Illinois. Several months later I received an email from someone who grew-up in Virden and I promised to post another shot when I returned from vacation. I forgot, but I've finally remembered.

This is a real photo postcard of what looks to be a really lovely street in Virden. The card was post dated on July 11 at 9:30 am but there is no year on the postal cancellation. I'd imagine it's around 1905 to 1910. Purely a guess. 

I wish I'd posted this during the summer because it has such a glorious summertime feeling to it, but I did promise this person I'd post it. I hope you and your folks enjoy this.

Virden Illinois_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.



From the sum of the pieces I GIVE YOU THE WHOLE

Did anyone put the pieces together like a puzzle? Three of the pieces would fit fine. Two others were much smaller. I now give you the complete RPPC.

Home from a long holiday weekend I can guarantee no pictures like this were taken of my family. No, mostly embarrassing close-ups with flash. Nothing that will ever be worthy of a future 100 years from now vernacular photography site. So relatives, you may rest easy. The shots are just between us.

the outing_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.


The lady with the BROWNIE CAMERA

Here's the final piece of the group "puzzle." I love this shot. The suit, the camera, the clutch purse, and the jaunty hat. Plus there's the stance and the attitude. And then there's his suit. He probably cut the rug each weekend. Bodie-oh-do!

Now you can put all the pieces together and see the whole. If I have net connection tomorrow I'll post the whole. 

box brownie and purse_tatteredandlost


NOT A SMILE in the bunch

Another shot of people in hats. Not one person in the entire shot is really beaming a smile. There are various looks of vague pleasure or no pleasure at all. I'm wondering if this shot was the one BEFORE the good shot when everyone smiled. You know the one I'm talking about. You might have even take some yesterday on Thanksgiving. You take a shot and then say "No, I need to take another. George had his eyes shut." So finally you get what you hope is the perfect shot. Then you later look at them enlarged and realize everyone but one member looks perfect. The one person has one eye shut and is midway between a smile and burp. So it goes with group shots.

I shall now continue my Thanksgiving away from home. Hope all are having good times or something close to it.

nice coat_tatteredandlost



Here's hoping everyone has a good hat day. And may your hat make you happy. A lot happier than this young lady. 

couple with hats_tatteredandlost


WORKIN' the hats


Hats made a statement. Now usually it's men wearing caps. Baseball caps. Baseball caps backwards. It's probably just me, but the whole baseball hat backwards makes me cross my eyes and think half-assed backwards indeed. A few decades ago if you wore your hat like that you were labeled a fool and people stayed clear of you. Now it's the fashion. A stupid fashion. There's a reason a baseball cap has a brim and it isn't to shield your neck. But like I said...that's just me. 

My other gripe are families that come walking into a nice restaurant all wearing baseball caps and they never take them off. They all sit there looking like doofusses in their caps. Again, in this case I know it's not just me, but there was a time men took their hats off when they went inside. Women didn't because women's hats were far more problematic. Exhibit A is below. His cap comes off easily and I'm sure when he went inside he immediately had it in his hand. It was respectful. Oh well. 


This lady is workin' hers. And her suit. Quite a fancy tailored number for strolling in the woods with friends. But wait, you haven't seen the rest of them. Stay tuned.

seriously working some hat_tatteredandlost



"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" except in the case of a vernacular photograph of a group of people. Then the details are what count. 

Eventually I will show the whole real photo postcard, but for now I want to focus on details. I only noticed this fellow was holding the old box Brownie when I enlarged the image. And he's not the only one in the overall shot with a camera, but I'll save that one for later. For now...I give you Vernacular Photographer exhibit A. Wonder what he took and what happened to them. Again, I think we can all say it in unison..."We'll never know."

brownie box_tatteredandlost


Out in the open, but still SNEAKIN' IN THE SIDE DOOR

This photo intrigues me. I know, I'm easily intrigued. The thing is this snapshot is in the album I've referenced before of the two fellows, Bill and Dick, who took a trip across country. I don't know if this was a place they saw on their trip or a place near where one of them lived in California. But it intrigues me. 

the place on the corner_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

The top looks like an ice cream cone with a lightening rod? Any guesses? Suggestions? Unfortunately no matter how much I enlarge it I can't pull in the sign above the front door. The only information the photo gives is the fellow sneakin' in the side door. Some nefarious goings on I fear. Or maybe just a smoke, a drink, and round of pool.

sneakin' in the backdoor_tatteredandlost


How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm AFTER THEY'VE SEEN WOOLWORTHS?

This is another find from my trip to Weaverville. This little "cutie," her word, not mine, looks perfect to be an employee at F. W. Woolworth. She's got the hair, the clothes, that special something. Hmmm...which department would she have been given in the little shop around the corner? I think she'd have been good at selling candy. I don't see her pushing jewelry. No, not her style. But candy...as long as she didn't eat too much of the stock. There was bound to be some guy who came in and thought he was the first to say "Ain't she sweet?" 

they called me cutie_tatteredandlost

And now for your dancing pleasure...maestro...



This vernacular photograph was given to me on my birthday by my best friend. She shares my passion for old photos, but she has enough sense to pass them on instead of burying herself as I have done. I'm very lucky.

F.W. Woolworth_tatteredandlost
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F. W. Woolworth was the place to shop. I always enjoyed Woolworths and wish they were still around just as I remember them. I can remember the one in Harrisburg, PA that had little sections on the countertops full of little toys. I loved running my hand through the marbles. Wish I still had my bag of marbles, but I lost my marbles a long time ago. I don't think I need to hear any comments about that.

My maternal grandparents lived in Harrisburg and whenever we went to visit my grandmother, my mother, and I would go downtown to Pomeroy's and Woolworths. At Woolworths we would sit at the counter and have lunch. The most vivid memory I have is when my grandmother bought me some little plastic Disney characters. Like the marbles, there was a section, sort of a tiny bin, full of all sorts of little people and animals. I was told I could pick out 4 figures, at least that's all I have left. I worried over which ones to get. I'd take one out and put it in  my hand while I pushed aside others in the bin. I'm still pleased with my choices. Pinocchio, Daisy Duck, Dopey, and Peter Pan. All less than an inch and a half tall. Now mind you at that age I had two crushes. I was in love with Peter Pan and the Everly Brothers. I don't know, it's just how my mind worked. And I do have stories about Phil Everly, but I'll save them for another time. Anyway...

What really interests me in this photo are the Woolworth girls. I'm sure they were referred to as "the girls" and not women. I'd say the shot was from the late 20s to maybe mid-30s. I have no idea where it was taken other than the obvious...Woolworths. One sign says "Nothing in this store more than 15 cents." Can you imagine? A whole store where every item cost 15 cents or less? You can bet some of these items are now on sale at eBay for a heck of a lot more. Sure do miss the Five and Dime stores.

I have posted sort of a "companion piece" about working women at my ephemera site. When this shot was taken it hadn't been all that long that women were full-time in the work force. Were they married or unmarried? Seems to have been a bit of thorny issue with some people, but you'll have to read the letters from Comfort magazine here.


CHERISH your pets

For the past week, since I got home from my vacation, I've been dealing with my little dog becoming partially paralyzed. Fortunately he's back to near full recovery, but a week ago was very stressful with sleepless nights. Three years ago at Christmas time he became completely paralyzed from the neck down and required major spinal surgery followed by 6 months of non-stop care. So when he started having trouble walking last week and would cry out when touched my mind raced back to the nightmare of the full paralysis. I rushed him to emergency on the 4th and the doctor confirmed there was partial paralysis, but she couldn't say if it was temporary or permanent. He spent a few days on pain meds and now is once again running back and forth inside the house, doin' dog stuff. I'm sleeping much better.

I've always had pets. Can't imagine life without at least one. Right now I have a dog and two cats. One of the cats was a feral that I worked with in my backyard for two years before finally gaining enough of his trust to bring him inside. The sweetest little tiny toy you could imagine. Has major medical problems, but he makes up for it when he trills his little call. Wee Bobbie, the Manx.

Photos of pets bring back memories and ultimately some sadness because they're always gone too soon. When I saw this vintage photo at the antique store in Weaverville I smiled, thinking about the joy the little babe probably brought to those who owned it. I hope it grew up to be a happy dog doin' dog stuff all its life.

careful puppy_tatteredandlost
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I have a photo of a dog that was in one of my dad's squadrons. His name was Boots and he used to fly with the crew and even had his own military ID. My dad always smiles when he sees that photo of Boots and recalls stories of how they sneaked him aboard the flights.

Right now I have a flock of wild turkeys outside my window. Did a head count and came up with 50. They're yelling at each other with some chasing others around and around at the base of trees. Stupid as can be, but I consider them my pets too. They don't seem to feel the same. I think it's time for me to go out and break up a couple of these fights. "Okay, you bunch of turkeys...knock it off!"


All dressed up with NO PLACE TO GO

Part of the fun of vernacular snapshots is to see what locations people decided were the best spots to pose. We've all been through it. "Stand over here. No wait, over here would look nicer. Okay wait, the sun is behind you. You're just a big shadow. Go back to where you first were." And so it goes. In the case of these two shots all of the people had to do a little bit of climbing on rough surfaces in shoes not meant for climbing.

I posted at my ephemera site about having photos taken on downed trees, specifically redwoods. These lovely ladies, from probably sometime around 1915, are not on a redwood. I'd say pine, several pines. Not only did the lady on the log need a lift up, but I imagine the other one needed to tip-toe gently amongst the logs so as to not get things rolling under her feet. And that odd feather/flower/bird thingie on her shoulder...I really don't know. Looking at the shot through my loop it looks to be drawn on...but not really. However the black is much blacker than all other blacks in the shot and the white tip is whiter than all other whites. Usually by looking through my loop I can figure these things out easily, but not this time. There is also a small "v" in black ink on the sitting woman's left arm, her left arm, not the left arm when we look at her. Okay, not vital information.

two ladies with a pine tree_tatteredandlost
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Then there's this couple from probably the 40s or 50s. Clearly not dressed for mountain climbing, but sometimes we forget how rural people's lives were. If they were bedecked in their Sunday finest and lived in the countryside of course they'd be posed next to plants or rocks if not next to a building. What I find funny is that they climbed up this little incline and sat down. What was it about those rocks that made them so gosh darn fascinatin' to require climbing up on them and settin' down? I mean, I like the shot, but I would have loved to hear the discussion that took place while they sat on the rocks in their nice clothes and then dusted off their fannies when standing. And there is the oh so small hint of a shadow on the right so there were at least two people watching them. Did they then change places and have this couple in the photo take a shot of the other two? We'll never know.

sitting couple_tatteredandlost
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These photos were bought on vacation in a small antique store in Weaverville, California. I scoured the shop hunting for anything when I finally spotted a small basket with a stack of photographs. All were shots taken in the countryside, nothing taken in any cities. Now whether or not they were taken in or around Weaverville I don't know. Weaverville is still a pretty rural place located in the Trinity Alps of Northern California. A fine little gold mining town with a wonderful Chinese temple that is a state historic site. All 'n' all a good time was had in Weaverville.