This is Connie. Other than that I know nothing about her. These photos were bought at the same estate sale where I bought the shot of Frank Sinatra in purple golf sweater and pants. The home where I found Connie had all sorts of interesting things, though the condo itself was pretty dreadful. Very odd use of space. But that's okay, because I found a small box of photos so I was happy. And of course when I got up to the table to pay suddenly the people holding the sale realized there was a photo of Sinatra and the price for him went up. Okie dokie, whatever. I wanted Frank in purple. Frank was the star of the sale. Connie was just a little girl with an affinity for wheeled vehicles.

Connie 1_tatteredandlost

Can you remember all the wheeled vehicles you've had? Carriages, tricycles, the first two-wheeler with and without training wheels, the first car? Wheels play a very big deal in the lives of many of us in this country. 

Connie 2_tatteredandlost

Horses also seemed to play a very big part in Connie's life. As did golf. That is if the other photos in the box were here as an adult. I didn't buy any of the shots of her on horses. They were all dressage and jumping shots. Not particularly interesting except to someone who likes dressage and jumping. I have enough photos I took myself in England of jumpers to last me a lifetime. I don't need to buy any. 

Anyway, I enjoy looking at Connie's evolution with the wheel. Reminds me of my own childhood, though she was born decades before me. This last shot specifically reminds me of a little car, a little blue Cadillac convertible, in some sort of a car place in Hawaii. I don't remember why my folks went there. I don't think it was a dealership, could have been an auto parts shop. I don't know, but they had this kid size Cadillac on a shelf near the ceiling. It was a peddle car and I longed for it. I imagined myself tooling around the neighborhood in that pretty little car. I don't believe I ever told my folks how much I longed for it. I knew it was way out of our price range. It was a rich kids toy. Funny thing is it was always there. I don't ever remember going in and seeing it gone. 

Connie 3_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

Oh yes, I have another shot of Connie, I think, when she's older in a golf cart. Yes, wheels played an important part in Connie's life. At least from my limited perspective.


This Halloween go as RAPSCALLIONS!

I've had this photo for a long time. It fits the classical found photo description. I can't remember where I found it, but I think it was on the street or inside a library book. It was someplace odd and I grabbed it. 

Over the years I've stuck this snapshot on my bookshelf, taunted my best friend with it (asking her if anyone looked familiar which of course they couldn't because I found it!), and continually misplacing it. I'll go for years without seeing it and then it pops up somewhere like a bad penny. These street urchins. These rapscallions

The Four Rapscallions_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

Love that word. Don't hear it used much these days. We pretty much go right for thugs, gangsters, etc. But these little dears with the testosterone just starting to surge through their little bodies are rapscallions. It's all attitude. It's the boys who didn't get into Scouts but who had parents that kept looking in the back of magazines at the small ads for military schools. It's a group of Eddie Haskells. It's spitwads and throwing erasers at the blackboard right before the teacher came into the room.

And it's probably a lot of fun. Shared memories for these boys. What became of them? They're frozen in time for me. The Four Rapscallions. 


A wee bit of IRELAND

A heads up on a vernacular photography blog with a distinct Irish flavor:
I'm noticing, and maybe I'm wrong, that a lot of vernacular photography sites have either shut down or are no longer updated. That's sad. More and more people just seem to dump everything on Flickr which for me is just a bit overwhelming. Too much all at once with little to no history attached. Plus I never get to know the people who have posted them. It ends up being a bit like sorting through a large box at a flea market. Everything is disconnected, lots to look at, but until I've sat down with each piece it's just sort of a mess.

I like this site Jacolette because there's a reason for it to exist and you can feel the person behind it. I look forward to seeing which direction it goes.


Somewhere in Nebraska THEY WORE RIBBONS

No information to give about this real photo postcard other than it's larger than a normal one. It measures 6.6250" x 3.5". I don't know when sizes were standardized or if they ever actually were. This is the widest card I have in my collection.

I believe it may have been taken in Nebraska only because many of the shots I purchased at this particular sale were from there. Now as to what the occasion was for this shot, your guess is as good as mine. School? Church? And what gives with the ribbons worn by the adult on the left and two of the boys? Certainly they must have signified something. Some sort of honor. Ribbons that were taken home and probably placed in drawers. Eventually their original color faded and they were tossed aside as nothing more than a connection to a long forgotten memory.

Somewhere Nebraska_RPPC_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

What I find most interesting is the attitude of these kids compared to the ones from 1961. Yes, these kids are slightly older, but they're far more serious in this situation. They are more respectful of the moment. The idea of childhood that we're all familiar with wasn't part of their reality. They were expected to pull their weight in the family and not sit and watch Sky King and dream of what Santa was going to bring them from the Sear's catalogue. Different times, different expectations.

I have mentioned the following book before, but want to remind you again of its signifi-
cance. Prairie Fires and Paper Moons is no longer in print, but can often be found in good used condition. If you have any interest in real photo postcards or simply vernacular photography documenting America between 1900 and 1920 check out the book. It's worth having in your collection. I did a post about it on December 5th of last year where I go into more detail about the contents. There is a link in the Amazon column to the left (sorry, Amazon doesn't provide a photo in the link) where you can see the variety of prices being asked for it. You might also want to check to see if your local library has a copy. Of course, as I too often find, library books are often listed in the catalogue but if it's a book hard to find it's just as often not returned to the library. I'm finding that happening more and more and it sets my teeth on edge. So I'll leave you with that image. Grinding my teeth about library theft. Better to buy the books legitimately.


BOOMERS or bust?

Insurance salesmen, hairdressers, soldiers, doctors, members of  the Elks, husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, politicians, car salesmen, scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, nurses? What was the future for the 7th grade graduating class of 1961? Looking at these little munchkins it would be hard to imagine them taking on the world and today being in their early 60s.

I give you once again, the graduating class of 1961. Okay, I'll admit, to me the first shot reminds me of Tom Delay's mugging mug shot. Let's hope this young fellow took a wiser path. And the last two fellows? Well they just about sum it up, don't they?


The CLASS OF '61

You know those lovely pyramid style group photos where everyone just looks like a peanut head? Imagine being a parent and paying for this. Granted the original is 8 x 10, but still, if the kids didn't get individual school photos and only got this group shot it's just sad. But all is not lost thanks to modern cheap technology. 

I like the way the kids are all playing at being adults. Each girl wears a corsage and each boy a tie. These kids were mercifully clueless about what was going to happen. Wonder what their lives were like? What they became? Anyone want to guess which grade? I'm thinking perhaps graduation from 7th.

More generic looking early '60s kids tomorrow. Sitting.



See anything here you want? Maybe something you already have gathering dust in the recess of a closet? I know I have the Brownie Hawkeye somewhere in this house. Just saw it a few months ago. Put it away for safe keeping, but now apparently it's too safe because I haven't a clue as to where this safe spot is. I'd like to find it to put up on my bookshelf with some of my other old Kodaks. 

Kodak ad_December 1954_tatteredandlost
Do click on the image to see this larger. (SOURCE: December 1954 National Geographic)

This ad is from the December 1954 National Geographic. The camera that has me the most intrigued is the one in the upper left corner, the Kodak Stereo Camera. I'm not sure if I've ever seen one of these, let alone an ad. It's fascinating. 

You can see a better shot of this camera at Camerapedia where there is also a brief bit of information. The camera was designed by Arthur H. Crapsey who was responsible for a lot of Kodak's designs and eventually became head of their design group in 1960. From now on when I go by those tables at estate sales where all the cameras have been piled I'm looking for one of these. Just think...double vernacular photographs in one!

And now back to rummaging through this house for Hawkeye. In this place I might end up finding Hawkeye Pierce instead.


Mr. Roberts and A REALLY BIG TREE

The final in the series, for now, of Mr. Roberts and friend. This one was taken at the Wawona Tree in Yosemite. The tree was hollowed out in 1881 and fell down in 1969. 

Mr. Roberts_Wawona tree_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

I can't really explain what it's like to see a really giant tree lying flat on the ground. I was standing next to one up along the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt County, California last fall and the story about it falling includes a neighbor miles away saying when it came down it sounded like a huge train wreck. Nobody was there to witness it falling, but it took several other trees down at the same time. And if you're thinking "big" tree I'm talking BIG TREE. You'd stand at the roots and you couldn't see the other end. Redwood forests are amazing places. Now people cutting holes through redwood trees so nutcases can drive thru, not so crazy about that. However, I did ride through this one as a child in a green Oldsmobile. For a kid it was a pretty interesting experience.

To see old postcards of the Wawona Tree and other drive-thru trees click on Image-Archeology.com.  And to read a wee bit about Redwoods click here. 



Remember when I said Mr. Roberts didn't marry the woman standing next to him in Yosemite Valley? Remember I said a bear was involved. Well, here's one of the shots of her with a bear. 

woman with bear_tatteredandlost

Now, Mr. Roberts was quite an interesting man, sailing the high seas, living aboard ship in the 1930s in Alaska, and then on an expedition to Antarctica. Did he draw the line with women feeding bears. We'll never know.