If you're awakened in the middle of the night by a ghostly spirit wishing to take you on a journey be warned; you may be forced to look at the past, the weirdly mysterious past.

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Watch out for dark corners tonight.


HAPPY NEW YEAR: Possibility 1

I'm going to give you three possibilities for how to spend your New Year. You'll need to come back the next two days. I can tell you the entry for January 1st is R-rated; so you've been warned.

So you have to ask yourself, "Buddy, are you feelin' lucky? Well, are ya?"

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I'm just thinkin', which in my case is probably not advisable (too many brain cells about to be damaged) and I'm a wonderin' if these here kiddies liked Huckleberry Hound why would they want to pummel him? Bozo I can understand, but Huckleberry is just a very relaxed guy and you know he's not gonna be a hittin' back.

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The evidence for your viewing pleasure.



For those who follow this site you'll know my fascination of a fellow I've named Ernie. Christmas Eve 2010 was when I first found photos of Ernie. Over the months this year I found more. I went back to the antique store the other day, Christmas Eve, and found another. Today I went back and found a few more. The seller has obviously torn apart an old photo album because many of the shots I found of Ernie and his family have glue on the back and photo corners. That makes me sad. I wish the album had been left intact. I could have had Ernie's life unfold before me instead of fits and starts. Oh well. At least I found a few more shots. I wonder who else has collected shots of him?

Ernie's daughter and son possibly taken by Ernie.

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Did you get what you want? Did you get what you need?

On the back of this vernacular photograph it says "Christmas 1951."

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Wishing all a colorful vernacular photography Christmas!

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Happy holidays to all at Sepia Saturday.


Christmas trees without people around them look often forlorn though they're trying hard to look majestic. They know they're dead and will end up in the trash heap. But they try darn ya, they try!

This poor thing has the problem of a sheep dog. So much tinsel it can't see.

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We'll never know what Ernie was unwrapping. A shot taken the same year as the Ernie Christmas shots last year.

Let's hope Ernie had a Merry Christmas and I'm sure he'd be wishing you the same. He's just that kind of guy.

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They seem to have lived in a trailer, single wide. Two adults and two children.

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Ever open a gift before Christmas without letting anyone know? You know, you peel back the paper ever so carefully and then rewrap it, placing it EXACTLY where it had been. I did it once.

I knew there was a record album under the tree. I wanted Rubber Soul so badly that I was willing to break the tape seal to find out. What if my folks had given me something else? What if it was a Paul Revere and the Raiders album because my mother thought their outfits were cute? It had to be Rubber Soul. It just had to be. And it was. Phew! I ruined my Christmas surprise and had to walk around the tree for a week knowing John, Paul, George, and Ringo were waiting to regale me with historic tunes on Christmas. It was torture.

So did this little babe open her packages on Christmas or was she caught in the act?

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The joy of vernacular photography. Never really knowing the story, but being able to come up with many plausible alternatives.



I'm guessing this was taken in a basement rumpus room. No idea who these jolly folks are, but I see a record player for 45s on top of the tv so I'm hoping that they did a bit of rockin' around the Christmas tree with Brenda Lee.

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CHRISTMAS: Opening packages with ERNIE

It's that time of year when we either gather with family and friends or make up an excuse to run full tilt in the other direction.

Here we have our friend Ernie gathering with one or the other. I'm guessing family. Ernie at Christmas; we've seen this before.

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Ernie is a favorite "category" of mine only available at one antique store. Every time I go to the store I hope to find a new image of Ernie. Just when I think I've found the last another one pops up. Keeps me going back. And each time I leave the store I fear I will never find another image of Ernie, another moment captured in his life.

Last year I featured 4 posts in a row following Christmas called "One Man's Christmas." You can see part 1 here, 2 here, 3 here, and 4 here. I'd found all of these images on Christmas Eve. Perhaps I need to stop by the store this Christmas Eve to see if Ernie is there celebrating.

There will be more of Ernie this week. Think of it as a buffet of Ernie and that's about as close as I can get to this weeks Sepia Saturday theme which means I'm not on theme at all.


CHRTISTMAS: Sedsons Greetibgs!

And a good Sedsons Greetibgs to you and all of yours from the fire department.

Funny how an angle of a shot can so easily distort signage.

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I just bought my tree from the local volunteer fire station tree farm. A great group to support with wonderful people.


CHRISTMAS: HIRE A BAND for the holidays

Well crikey, they're just so dang-na-bit cute! I imagine they're takin' requests. I bet they did a mean version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" followed by "Your Feets Too Big."

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A photo that makes me smile because it fits into categories: office party, Santa, Christmas, and best of all...cutting the cake. Oh sure, it could be broken down even more...woman smoking, soft drink machine...blah blah blah. Categories really aren't made to organize all of this, at least not for me. They're to add an edge of the absurd.

Could it possibly be more festive? Wild office party with overdone decorating. I guess it's a secret Santa.

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CHRISTMAS: Charlie the STANDING MAN in boxers

I featured Charlie, the Standing/Sitting Man, back in September. I said to stay tuned because there was a holiday shot from Charlie. Even in holiday boxers Charlie looks better than most of us. So what will be next to your tree?

Previous Charlie posts: Sept. 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30



A continuation of the scene from yesterday. Kewpie dolls, popcorn, and an older bored sister. A happy family gathering somewhere in Nebraska.

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I know of the tradition of putting popcorn strands around a Christmas tree, but I've never seen a display like this. I'm imagining a little mouse would find it quite enticing. Come into the room late at night and wee mice might be swinging from the ceiling with full bellies. It looks like they already tried eating the photo.

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Christmas: MOM?

This weeks Sepia Saturday features a portrait of a mother and child. I'm on theme, really, I am.

Pinocchio, eyeing the logs, said, "Mom, is that you?"

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More Christmas snapshots to come the next two weeks.



All you can eat at the Puppy Chow Bar and Grill.

I'm guessing the little one in the foreground might be leaving a wet puddle on the paper.



I can't help but think of the dog Asta from the classic film The Thin Man when I look at this shot.

And who knew, Asta had an online fan site? According to the site, this breed of terrier became quite popular in the 1930s and '40s leading to an overpopulation. I can only wonder if this woman was influenced by the Thin Man series.



Do a dogs ears lay flat against its head if a woman cackles in the background? You be the judge.


ERNIE with a puppy and a baby

Really, there's nothing to say. It's Ernie. Welcome back Ernie.

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And for those who FAVOR BUNS

From the Three Buck Big Box of Photos.

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To see another photo of Michelle click here.


Did somebody say GOAT RACES?

If you're racing dogs they use that stupid mechanical rabbit, obviously better than a real rabbit.

So what do they use for goat races? A tin can on a string dragged around in front of them? Actually with the way goats eat I'm guessing you could put just about anything on a string, even just a string, and they'd go after it...if they were in the mood.

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This image is badly glued into an old album.



Those of us who do not live in cities or suburbs see roadside stands on a regular basis and probably are just as thrilled with them as city folk. I do most of my shopping at what was once just a roadside stand which has now morphed into a far more complex stand. Open on the front, it's always interesting to shop in on a rainy day. The clerks all wear fingerless gloves to work the registers.

I have no idea where these shots were taken or when. A long ago stop at an apple stand.

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This is my submission, just barely under the wire, for Sepia Saturday.


A PET GOAT will eat you out of house and home

A pet goat or not. Perhaps just a day sitting in a hay pile with some barn animals.

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My neighbor has some goats. I love going over to see them. They always come up to the fence and stand on their hind legs to get right in my face, eye to eye. I tell them they're very good goats, but they seem to already know that.

I do have more goat photos to come, though not nearly as many as I have of dogs.


And so WE GATHER...

all around the table.


I love watching happy dogs doing dog stuff. Dog stuff is pretty much anything a dog would do without human direction. Though this girl is with the dog, in the dogs mind it's a whole other world.

Gotta love dogs doin' dog stuff!


The FOUR LEGGED MEMBERS of the household

People love their pets and I’m no exception. In my life I’ve lived with 6 dogs, 4 cats, and 8 parakeets. I also now have two feral peacocks who come to visit and be fed. I love to sit down next to them as they eat. And when Pete, the male, spreads his tail and walks towards me, then turns brushing my face with the feathers I’m thrilled with the moment. I cherish the interaction.

I’m going to be featuring some pet photos from my collection. Dogs and cats and rabbits and goats, oh my.


MEN and THEIR CARS: Part 8

How fortuitous that this weeks Sepia Saturday is about cars? I've been featuring men and their cars in seven previous posts which can be seen at the links below:
Part 1 a proud fella with his shiny car
Part 2 a car salesman in my imagination
Part 3 Bill and Dick's adventure in Chicago
Part 4 somewhere near San Bernardino
Part 5 young men and old jalopies
Part 6 a car along the Potomac River in Washington D.C.
Part 7 a "Spanish River Pulp" truck in Canada
The actual Sepia Saturday post is an old advertisement for Chevrolet which got me thinking about how much ads have changed over the decades.

The basic car ad has always been about freedom; the freedom you get once you own a car. Then there's the romance of a car and how stylish it makes you look and feel. These days it's also about power; not just the power of the engine, but the power you'll have over others because of the choice you've made. Sometimes we really are so stupid to fall for all of it.

The car itself has become a sex object photographed to look almost unattainable. Glistening chrome and paint shines like lipstick on a pouty mouth. Car ads have changed, but for most people a purchase is still for practical reasons. You need a car to get from point A to point B. Some people want function, others want glamour.

A car and an open road, at least in the mind of a Californian, is almost a birthright. Ultimately we're now paying a dear price for this frame of mind, but I don't want to give up my shiny red car. It's an extension of me. When I get behind the wheel it feels like an extension of my own body. I'm thinking all those years of watching tv commercials has me right where the industry wants me...that and the fact that most of my county is two lane twisty roads that are a joy to drive.

This photo of a gentleman out for a ride along a dirt road somewhere amongst the redwoods in Northern California is a classic. A drive out of necessity or pleasure? It's just a moment captured in motoring history.

And for more motoring madness check out the Studebakers at my other site, Tattered and Lost Ephemera.


MEN and THEIR CARS: Part 7

This shot comes from an old album I purchased many years ago at an estate sale. The album features the life of a woman who was born in Canada and died in Northern California after a full and rich life.

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This vintage snapshot, from what I can discern, was taken in Canada. On the side of the truck bed the signage says "Spanish River Pulp" which was the name of a paper company in the town of Espanola in Ontario, Canada.
The Town of Espanola originated as a company-owned town. In 1899 the Ontario government signed the Espanola Agreement with the Spanish River Pulp and Paper Company, which gave the company the authority to begin logging operations over a 5,600 km area for the next 21 years. Under the agreement, a pulp mill capable of employing 250 people was to be constructed. A company-owned town site was established which stretched from the Spanish River to where Second Street is today. (SOURCE: Corporation of the town of Espanola)
To read more about Espanola click here.

It was nice to have this bit of signage because it put the photo in some sort of context. We now know that this man most likely was a driver for the company. Other than that, he'll forever be a mystery.


MEN and THEIR CARS: Part 6

This is Mr. Roberts in Washington D. C. next to the Arlington Memorial Bridge which crosses the Potomac River. To the right of the bridge is the Lincoln Memorial.

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This photo was taken in 1941 when Mr. Roberts and his wife, Lolly, visited D.C. As you can see the film was processed at a Peoples Drug Store.


MEN and THEIR CARS: Part 5

Another shot from the estate sale of Mr. Roberts belongings. The young man leaning on the back of the car which looks like a race car is Mr. Roberts years before he was in the Coast Guard and off on his adventures in Alaska.

This shot, like the one from yesterday's post, was also most likely taken near San Bernardino. The fellas were out and about and taking shots of themselves with their cars. What an adventure it must have been in those days before paved roads, interstates with repair garages and gas stations, and of course, no cell phones thus no way to easily call the auto club. Mind you, the Automobile Club of Southern California had been in existence since 1900. Phonebooths...harder to find.

I think the old jalopies are grand!

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MEN and THEIR CARS: Part 4

Other than remembering where I purchased this snapshot (the Mr. Roberts estate sale) I have no idea what's going on. I purchased a series of shots of men and young men in cars/jalopies driving on dirt roads. This one with the sign is the most telling of location. Perhaps there's someone out there who knows something about the sign and road. I'm guessing this was the "highway" of its time located in Southern California. The photo was most likely taken in the late 1920s to early '30s. As to what the tower is in the background, I haven't a clue.

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The copy on the sign:
History of the United States

San Bernardino 2 Miles

Six miles northeast of San Bernardino in the Arrowhead with its hot springs, one of which has a temperature of nearly two hundred degrees and a daily flow from the rock of half a million gallons.
UPDATE from reader Daniel Nauman. Thanks Daniel!
I believe that's a mid 1920s Hudson---at least all Hudsons had a triangluar emblem on the radiator. I'd date the photo circa 1930, because the tire on the billboard (a US Tire) is starting to 'balloon' into the tires we're familar with, which became standard circa 1934. A side note would be that US tires were made at the old Samsome factory south of LA---they one with the hyroglipchics(sp), now an outlet mall. I suspect this is taken near the shoulder of US 99, which ran through Colton at the time, about that many miles south of San Berdoo (US 66 actually went into Berdoo). The Sierra Madres are probably hidden behind the billboard. The tower looks like to be a rock crusher to me---the area is all river washes, and it may have been used to grade gravel for a paving project.



From what I can determine, Camp Pike was located in Arkansas. You can see photos of the camp here, here, and here.

To see more photos like the one above with the flag go here, here, here, here, and here. (SOURCE: 3rd Division Photos)

We're just a few years away from the anniversary of the start of World War I. Doesn't seem that we've progressed very much since then towards resolving conflicts peacefully. One current presidential candidate has even said that should he be elected we can expect to go to war with another country. Odd how politicians are always so cavalier about war. They love to get their photos taken in front of flags. So both patriots and cowards like to use the flag for their own purpose. It's up to us to determine which sort of person they are.

This is my contribution for the Sepia Saturday post for its 100th anniversary.


MEN and THEIR CARS: Part 3

This vintage snapshot is from Bill and Dick's Excellent Adventure. Bill is on the left...or Dick...I'm not sure. I do know, because of the May 25th diary entry, the fellow driving is Mr. Nelson the "Chief of Factory Inspection for State of Illinois."

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As to the model of car, haven't a clue.

I've featured photos and diary entries from Bill and Dick's adventure before, including here, and I'm sure they'll be featured in the future.


MEN and THEIR CARS: Part 2

"So, tell me...what will it take to get you into this little baby today?"