Ernie with his CHINCHILLAS

So what's the story of Ernie with the chinchillas? Did he:
a. have pet chinchillas?

b. get roped into a get rich quick scheme?
c. manage a chinchilla apartment complex?
I'll let you decide.


HE'S Baaaaaaack!

Anybody remember Ernie; the centerpiece to "One Man's Christmas" (here, here, here, and here) that I posted at the end of last year? Well, I'm pleased to announce there is more Ernie. I went back to the antique store where I found the initial 4 shots and found an additional 13. There were more shots of his kids, but those I left in the box. When it gets down to counting pennies after sorting through two boxes for several hours I end up having to whittle down my ultimate "want" pile. The kids are back in the box.

Ernie at a younger age happy with his Parcheesi gift. I once had the very same board, though there are no photos proving it as there is with Ernie.


Gypsy in COLOR

This is the last photo I have of Gypsy. An older, but still stylish woman. I wish I knew more about her other than she was fashionable and loved to travel. Still, that's really all I have. It's also all I have about Jean who travelled to Hawaii on a Matson liner in the late 1920s to early 1930s. So I guess I'll just have to be satisfied with what little I know about both of these women. Adventure on the high seas.

And to just clear this up I will again say this woman is NOT Gypsy Rose Lee and probably would not wish to be compared with her. I'm the one who named her Gypsy because she looks so much like her when she was young. Go back through past posts and you'll see all the photos I have of her.

Bon Voyage Gypsy!



Click on image to see it larger.
They have now been named, from the left to right: Cleo, Dolly, and Gypsy.

This time we have a photo of Gypsy aboard ship in the gift shop; this is how I've determined she's cruising the Pacific. The dolls in the shop are dolls that were very popular in the late '50s to late '60s, especially in Hawaii. The ones on the bottom shelf are Japanese composition dolls with faces coated with gofun (ground oystershell and glue). The ones on the top are Chinese.

I've got quite a few old, mid-century, Japanese dolls that my folks bought me when we lived in Hawaii. I know collectors pretty much ignore Japanese dolls, I guess thinking of them as just souvenirs. If I had the money I'd be buying them all the time. I love dolls from Asia. The colors, the clothing, the simple beauty draw me in. I'd much rather have a beautiful old Japanese Ichimatsu than a Jumeau in their ruffled finery. The little ones below are from my collection; still in decent condition considering how much I played with them.

I do recall running by the gift shop on the Matsonia. There was also a beauty salon. You didn't have a huge array of shops as current ships do (which are nothing more than shopping malls). You really weren't expected to spend your time shopping. There was too much to do outside on the deck in the glorious sun as you headed to Hawaii.

When I came back from Hawaii it was aboard a Navy ship. There were no fancy shops, movie theater, or beauty salon. There was a shipboard geedunk stand that was open for a short time each day. It was a narrow room with a walk-up window and counter. You bought candy and such from a sailor. They might have also had comic books and magazines, I don't recall. The photo here, of the Goofy comic, was aboard Gypsy's liner.

I do remember going to the shipboard library every day. It too was only open a short time and was very small, but it kept me amused for the 5 day journey. It would be nice to be in one of those old berths, the ship cutting through the waves, rocking from side to side, me reading and falling asleep. I could use a bit of that right now.


Gypsy at the CAPTAIN'S PARTY

I think Gypsy was a very social person even though I only have a few photos of her with other people. She certainly looks to be having a grand time at this shipboard party, but it's the other people who draw me in, specifically the two fellows eyeing each other across the table.

Now certainly, this was just a moment caught that meant nothing, but out of context it strikes me very funny. And the fellow in the background with the hat looking up at the balloon, I could easily delete that balloon and we'd all be left wondering why this partygoer was staring at the ceiling.

Click on image to see it larger.

I'm thinking this was a Pacific cruise. Tomrrow...the gift shop!



Gypsy went on cruise ships back in the day when it was a pleasant experience. The ships were beautiful and didn't look like the horrors of today, tankers filled to brim with shipping crates. There was fun and excitement to sailing across the sea; it started before you left port as you listened to the band and threw streamers off the ship to the people below on the docks. Those streamers were the only thing that tethered you to those not going along. You knew you were starting out on an adventure.

As a child in Hawaii we used to go down to visit new military families when they arrived. The dock was at the Honolulu Tower and there beside it would be one of the beautiful Matson liners. To a kid playing in the streamers thrown from the ship was just as much fun as being the one throwing them.

No idea where Gypsy was heading, but she certainly looks very happy. Over the next few days there will be two more photos of her aboard ship and a hint that she is most likely aboard a ship in the Pacific.

Click on image to see it larger.


Alfred Kallman on CLIFF HOUSE TOUR

Only a single photo from my collection this week.

If you've seen past posts about the Kallman family you will probably recognize Alfred, patriarch of the family.

This is Alfred aboard a touring car in San Francisco, probably around 1919. He was on his way to see the Cliff House restaurant and Sutro Baths. The Cliff House still exists, the Sutro Baths not so much. And when I say the Cliff House still exists, it's not the Cliff House Alfred would have seen.

Click on image to see it larger.

The Cliff House has burned down several times. The photo below shows it at its most gorgeous, but it too burned down over 100 years ago.

I'll let good old Wikipedia fill-in some details about this San Francisco landmark.
The Cliff House is a restaurant perched on the headlands on the cliffs just north of Ocean Beach on the western side of San Francisco, California. It overlooks the site of the former Sutro Baths and a room-sized camera obscura and is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, operated by the National Park Service.

Cliff House has had five major incarnations since its beginnings in 1858. That year, Samuel Brannan, a prosperous ex-Mormon elder from Maine, bought for $1,500 the lumber salvaged from a ship that foundered on the basalt cliffs below. With this material he built the first Cliff House. The second Cliff house was built for Captain Junius G. Foster, but it was a long trek from the city and hosted mostly horseback riders, small game hunters or picnickers on day outings. With the opening of the Point Lobos toll road a year later, the Cliff House became successful with the Carriage trade for Sunday travel. The builders of the toll road constructed a two mile speedway beside it where well-to-do San Franciscans raced their horses along the way. On weekends, there was little room at the Cliff House hitching racks for tethering the horses for the thousands of rigs. Soon, omnibus railways and streetcar lines made it to near Lone Mountain where passengers transferred to stagecoach lines to the beach. The growth of Golden Gate Park attracted beach travelers in search of meals and a look at the Sea Lions sunning themselves on Seal Rocks, just off the cliffs to visit the area.

In 1877, the toll road, now Geary Boulevard, was purchased by the City for around $25,000. In 1883, after a few years of downturn, the Cliff House was bought by Adolph Sutro who had solved the problems of ventilating and draining the mines of the Comstock Lode and become a multimillionaire. After a few years of quiet management by J.M. Wilkens, the Cliff House was severely damaged by a dynamite explosion when the schooner, Parallel, ran aground. The blast was heard a hundred miles away and demolished the entire north wing of the tavern. The building was repaired, but was later completely destroyed on Christmas night 1894 due to a defective flue. Wilkens was unable to save the guest register, which included the signatures of three Presidents and dozens of illustrious world-famous visitors.

In 1896, Adolph Sutro built a new Cliff House, a seven story Victorian Chateau, called by some "the Gingerbread Palace", below his estate on the bluffs of Sutro Heights. This was the same year work began on the famous Sutro Baths, which included six of the largest indoor swimming pools north of the Restaurant that included a museum, skating rink and other pleasure grounds. Great throngs of San Franciscans arrived on steam trains, bicycles, carts and horse wagons on Sunday excursions.

The Cliff House and Sutro Baths survived the 1906 earthquake with little damage but burned to the ground on the evening of September 7, 1907. Dr. Emma Merritt, Sutro's daughter, commissioned a rebuilding of the restaurant in a neo-classical style that was completed within two years and is the basis of the structure seen today. In 1937, George and Leo Whitney purchased the Cliff House, complementing their Playland-at-the-Beach attraction nearby and extensively remodeling it into an American roadhouse. The building was acquired by the National Park Service in 1977 and became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Many of Whitney's additions were removed and the building was restored to its 1909 appearance. In 2003, an extensive further renovation added a new two-story wing overlooking the Sutro Bath ruins.

The site overlooks Seal Rocks and the former site of the Sutro Baths. More than thirty ships have been pounded to pieces on the southern shore of the Golden Gate below the Cliff House.

The area immediately around Cliff House is part of the setting of Jack London's novel The Scarlet Plague (1912). (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
To get a nice overall feeling about the Cliff House through the years click here to go to the official site and stay for the opening historical slideshow, including the Sutro Baths.

To see more images of these tour cars, including this very same No. 20, click here to enter the Cliff House project. And spend a bit more time clicking around the site to see other wonderful images.

There are so many interesting people in the car with Alfred; let's just be thankful he wasn't sitting next to this happy go lucky soul. Actually, I can remember touring Europe with a person with this same joie de vivre.

This is my submission to this weeks Sepia Saturday. Another photo from the George Kallman estate.

And for those who like old photos, but don't visit me during the week, I think you might enjoy the lovely lady I've been posting this week. An unknown woman from the San Francisco/Bay Area. I will resume posting more images of her tomorrow.

In Gypsy's OWN WORDS



The kitty in this shot looks like a calico. I can identify with that. I can also identify with the cat fur she now has on her dress. Packing tape. I'm just sayin' packing tape! The only thing I've found to take cat hair off of stuff is packing tape. If someone else has a better idea I'm open to your suggestions.

Gypsy again looking lovely.


Gypsy POSE

There's really nothing to say about this other than once again this woman looks lovely. I'm imagining this is 1940s to early '50s. People were still wearing gloves in San Francisco in the early '60s too.

Again, I'd love to see all of the colors in this.

The next few days are nothing more than a fashion show by a woman who had a lot of style throughout her life. Well, I have no idea what she was like as a child. She'd be a fascinating story. What was her childhood like that she grew up to be so fashion conscious? You'll eventually see the final shot that shows right up through her later years she was stepping out.



Maybe you'll see it, maybe you won't. I'm referring to this woman's resemblance to Gypsy Rose Lee.

No information about this photo, but I'm guessing she loved the person who was taking the shot. She looks beautiful and I've tried to imagine what color the gown is. According to the only color photo I have of her, taken late in life, she had red hair. So what color would have looked lovely with red hair and pale skin?



I don't know anything about this woman other than what I can "see" in the photos I bought. I did a post about her several years ago entitled "I hope HER VALENTINE WAS TRUE." I've decided to feature the other photos I have of her; let you enjoy this beautiful and stylish woman.

I call her Gypsy, which would probably displease her, but there is one specific photo where she reminds me of Gypsy Rose Lee. Yes, the burlesque star; the high class stripper who my mother used to tell me about seeing when she had a stopover in Chicago while taking the train to California. She always told me the woman had style.

So take a look at the old Valentine and then the photo below. There will be 11 more in the series. This one was taken at a studio with the name "Jerome" on the back.

I can say that she lived in the San Francisco area; I do know that much. I so wish I'd bought more of her photos, but the seller at the antique store no longer has a booth.


CHARLES LINDBERGH and the old letter

When I first went through the boxes of photos from the George Kallman estate I certainly wasn't expecting to find a photo like this. It was in an old paper bag that had "other friends" written on the outside. Inside the bag were a jumble of photos of different people. When I saw this one I'm sure my eyes bugged out a little bit as I recognized the face. Charles Lindbergh. I was holding a photo of Charles Lindbergh. How did it end up in the "other friends" bag? I'll never know.

The back of the photo is shown below.

From this information I'm gathering the photo was taken in Glendale, California by R. C. Talbot. You can see another photo taken by Talbot of the terminal here from the Smithsonian collection. Click here to go to a page showing a photo Talbot took of Amelia Earhart (go approximately half way down the page) at the terminal. And click here to see a photo of Talbot with the Wilson Aero Service troupe from a book about the old airport.

The Grand Central Air Terminal is still standing according to Wikipedia and is owned by the Walt Disney Company. Alas, who knows what currently resides on the ground where Lindbergh once stood.
Grand Central Airport, Glendale, California, also known as Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT), was an important facility for the growing Los Angeles suburb of Glendale in the 1920s. It was also a key element in the development of United States aviation. The terminal, located at 1310 Air Way, was built in 1928 and is still there. Owned since 1997 by the Walt Disney Company, it remains the last standing structure, and sole surviving witness, to the area's historic significance, and is in urgent need of restoration and repair. The single concrete 3,800-foot (1,200 m) runway still exists, but it was dug up and converted into Grand Central Avenue, serving cars, not airplanes. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Below is my next Lindbergh "souvenir" purchased years ago at an antique store. Just a little letter in a little envelope. The envelope measure 3.5" x 3" and was sent from San Francisco to Los Angeles on September 17, 1927. On May 20 of the same year Lindbergh set out on his historic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis, landing in France on May 21st to a crowd estimated to be 150,000.

This little letter surprised me when I stood in the cluttered antique store reading it. I think you'll be surprised too.

I doubt today's children even know who Lindbergh was. Compared to their fast paced world he's low tech and nothing but history. But this photo and letter bring back a little bit of the mystery about a person who was famous for doing something, not for just promoting themselves as a spectacle.

This is my Sepia Saturday post and for a change I'm actually following the suggested theme.


No dog, no barrel, no tetherball...BUT...

Where's the dog? Where's the barrel? Where's the tetherball? Same backyard. Same view of laundry...but wait! There's new laundry! There's a variety of voyeur laundry! There's even a blanket! What? Too many exclamation points?

Okay, the obvious thing is that a new piece of equipment has been added to the yard and two little kids are happily enjoying it. Now, I don't know if this little girl always dressed up as if going to tea to play in the backyard, but I think she looks très chic with her fetching hat and purse.

Click on image to see it larger or just go outside for a walk.

So we bid farewell to the backyard from the Three Buck Big Box of Photos. It's been boring while it lasted. We'll never know anything else about this backyard...or will we?

Could it be? Is it possible? Is that really the checkerboard wall that Whitey, I mean Kenney, (here and here) stood in front of so many months ago? With the same dog? The plot thickens like a bowl of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom set out on the porch too long.


The FIGHTER, the Tetherball, the VOYEUR LAUNDRY, and the WASHING MACHINE

What? No dog? No barrel? Just a backyard fighting kid with an attitude. I'm guessing moments later he punched the helpless tetherball, freeing it from it's boring life attached to the pole, sending it across the fence into the voyeur laundry.

Just another image from the Three Buck Big Box of Photos.



Oh, people are coming in droves to see these. Droves I tell you! There's a lot of mumbling online about this collection. You know, that sound you hear in the background in movies? Crowd noises.

I had a teacher in elementary school who claimed to have been an extra in movies and told us they were told to quietly say "celery sticks at midnight" over and over again. I'm not convinced. The only thing I was ever convinced about this guy was that he drove a pink Mustang convertible in 1963.

But back to the collection courtesy of the Three Buck Big Box of Photos.

So what is missing from this shot? Send in your answer and try to win* Mr. Lilly's pink Mustang. Yeah, good luck with that.

Click on image to see it larger. But, really, why bother?

*There is no contest. There is no pink Mustang. I'm just pulling your chain and wasting time until I can stop posting this stupid collection. But there really was a Mr. Lilly and there was a pink Mustang.



This little pup looks content, happy the humans are gone. It's now his, all his!

Let's call this "A Portrait of a Young Dog With a Barrel." It will now be a perfectly useless searchable phrase. Let's see how long it takes for Google to add it.

Click on image to see it larger though heaven knows why.

Just another image from the Three Buck Big Box of Photos.



Today I give you a girl in the backyard with her dog sitting on a barrel next to a tetherball with the voyeur laundry in the background, AND an outboard motor. I think it's fair to say there is a boat on the other side of the fence. I know, I'm being bold making such a guess.

Click on image to see it larger.

Then again, perhaps the people next door simply hang a motor on the fence so they always know where it is...and so do the neighbors.

I seriously doubt that anyone ever will do a search for this title. Not going to happen. It's an original...and pointless.


The BOY, the DOG, the BARREL, the TETHERBALL, and the LAUNDRY

Who remembers Margaret? Margaret and the Three Buck Big Box of Photos?

Well, I decided to take out the "collection" and see what was worth posting. Of course, none of the photos are major works of anything. They're just a bunch of snapshots from an old box bought at the flea market. The fact that Margaret is affiliated with them has just given them more charm.

Want to see previous posts? Just Google "Three Buck Big Box of Photos" and you'll see links to the old photos. I'm not kidding. That phrase has now become a Google search phrase. Weird. Apparently nobody else has ever used that phrase online. Yee haw! I have created something. A useless phrase. I will now put it on my resume as "writer of searchable phrase."

Today I give you a boy in the backyard with his dog sitting on a barrel next to a tetherball with the voyeur laundry in the background. Who didn't have a barrel in their backyard? Oh sure, some of you probably had tetherballs, but a barrel? How cool is that?

Click on image to see it larger.

And now you're thinking (as if I may presume to know what you're thinking), "Yes, but does she have more photos of the dog, the barrel, the tetherball, and the laundry? Could this possibly be a category?"

Indeed it can folks, indeed it can.