Teachers at the GRAND CANYON

As a kid I thought it was pretty cool that teachers got a three month summer vacation the way the students did. I can remember going on vacation and finding groups of women traveling together; generally they were teachers.

Here, from the Ten Buck Box, we have Gertrude Bowen on vacation at the Grand Canyon with friends in the late 1940s. Were they all schoolteachers? Most likely.

I think at some point everyone should go on a road trip with friends. I've been on many, but the most memorable was a five week road trip through Europe with two friends in a candy colored Opal. Oh sure, by the end of the trip two of us wanted to kill the third person, but I still have great memories of just being in the car driving and laughing. I'm hoping Gertrude and her friends had as much fun.

Click on images to see them larger.



To think there are places in this world where women aren't allowed to drive makes my head spin. I won't go into it other than to say the men in those countries have some serious problems. Anything that impedes on a woman's right to make self-determined choices in her life, all aspects of her own life, are simply wrong.

Using this weeks Sepia Saturday image as my jumping off point I give you Women and Transportation, all sorts of transportation.

Most of these images come from the Ten Buck Box. A couple come from the estate sale of Mr. Roberts.

Click on any image to see it larger.

On the door it says "Just an old Ford" and "Merry Widows".

I believe this may be Gertrude (Rich) Bowen.

This one is from the Robert's estate and I'm guessing this was taken at Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California.

I'm guessing this one was taken in Nebraska.

If anyone knows what model these cars are drop me a line so I can add the information to the post. Why? Well, just because. Oh heck, if you know what the farm equipment is called give me that too. I'm seriously doubting anyone will have any info about the horses...then again....

Now get out there and drive, drive, drive wherever your heart takes you...and a full tank of gas.


The lady, the baby, and the WICKER CHAIR

I had a wicker chair very similar to this when I was a child. Mine had a tighter weave and was a rocking chair. This too may be a rocker.

The chair had been my dad's chair, then his brother's, then mine. Eventually it got passed along to my cousins who...let's just say the chair never looked as nice anymore and it no longer rocks.

I occasionally see similar chairs at antique stores and those old complex memories come back bathing me in a smile.

My mother always said that if she saw me sitting in the chair for too long it was time to get out the thermometer. I do remember sitting in my room rocking back and forth "reading" my books and listening to my Golden Records.

Speaking of Golden Records, there's a fun site worth visiting called Little Golden Records. This week Rockin' Jeff is featuring The Ballad of Davy Crockett. If you're of a certain age this will give you pause.

As to this real photo post card all I can say is I'm a bit confused.

Click on image to see it larger.

I can tell by the last name "Rich" that this woman and child were related to Gertrude Bowen since her maiden name was Rich. Other than that I'm simply confused.
"This is Frances Rich with Frances Rich."
Why do people do this? Why make life anymore confusing than it is?

This RPPC is from the Ten Buck Box.


THE PARTY is in full swing

I hadn't even noticed this shot went with yesterday's shot of the musicians. I had it separated into a different envelope. There are, I believe, 12 large envelopes full of photos and ephemera from the Ten Buck Box.

This is proof there was a party. These are the ladies of the party. If you look closely you'll see the band still sitting next to the building off in the distance.

Still no information as to where this was taken. Time period would be late 1940s to early '50s. Neither photo has any information on the back. Usually for photos that Arthur took he had them processed in Wiesbaden and there is processing information on the back; no such luck with this and yesterday's image.

Click on image to see it larger.

Take a moment to imagine the sights and sounds of the party. The little band sitting in the warmth of the sun playing a little swing while others drank, smoked, and chatted. No raucous noise; nothing amplified. Hoping they had a good time. Also hoping food was provided, though there's none to be see in either photo.


THE PARTY was just getting started

Another vintage snapshot from the Ten Buck Box.

I believe the fellow standing at the fence may be Gertrude's son, Arthur Bowen. As I've mentioned in a previous post he was in the military stationed in Germany following the war. At some point I believe he became a civilian contractor of some sort for the US government, still in Germany.

Perhaps this shot was taken on a military reservation in government housing. I really have no idea where it was taken; no information is provided on the verso of the image.

It appears these folks are getting ready for a party. It looks like there are several containers full of cold beer against the fence. The lady and the gent, probably the mixologists for the evening, might be studying a "cookbook" which means it probably got more interesting as the evening wore on.

The band consists of drums, fiddle, and guitar. The fellow shading his eyes is holding something, but I don't know what it is. Perhaps a flute?

So what do you think was their speciality? Bluegrass? Swing? Bach concerto? Bloody Mary's?

Let's hope a good time was had by all, including the neighbors who were hopefully invited.


GLEN CANYON BRIDGE under construction

Once upon a time the U.S.A. was capable of setting goals and then achieving them. That is the country of my youth. Super highways and bridges were built by the government because they were the right thing to do. We went into space and out of that new technology was created that helped people all over the world. Civil rights and poverty were taken on by people who believed we were one nation.

These days ignorance is worn as a badge of honor. Well educated people are snidely referred to by the ignorant as the elites, when really the elites are the 1% who hold the purse strings and the puppet strings of the ignorant.

These thoughts come about because of this weeks Sepia Saturday image which reminds me of what we were once capable of as a country. Okay, I'll also admit when I look at the Sepia Saturday photo I can hear the Bangles singing Walk Like an Egyptian.

The following photos show the building of the Glen Canyon Bridge in Arizona with a film processing date of November 1959 and were in the Ten Buck Box.

Click on any image to see it larger.

The bridge was built in order to aid in the building of the Glen Canyon Dam. Now I'm not going to say whether or not the building of the dam and the destruction of Glen Canyon was a good thing to do. It's done and will likely never be undone.
The absence of rail facilities near the construction site of Glen Canyon Dam necessitated construction of Glen Canyon Bridge for the transportation of construction materials and equipment from railheads to the site. A single-span, steel-arch structure, the bridge has an overall length of 1,271 feet. At its completion in 1959, it was the highest arch bridge in the world and the second longest of its type in the United States. The bridge spans the Colorado River 865 feet downstream from the dam. The deck of the bridge is 700 feet above river level. (SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior)
Before the bridge was built it required a drive of 200 miles to get to the other side of the Colorado River.
On October 15, 1956, the first blast occurred and the construction of Glen Canyon Dam was officially underway. Before that date, the site was virtually inaccessible and construction crews were forced to drive 200 miles to cross from one side of Glen Canyon to the other.

The remote location was selected for the project by a group of Bureau of Reclamation engineers and geologist working from 1946 to 1948. The site met several criteria: the area forming the basin could contain an immense amount of water; the canyon walls and bedrock foundation were strong and stable enough to safely support the high dam; and a large source of good rock and sand was available at nearby Wahweap Creek.

By 1959, the Glen Canyon Bridge was completed permitting the trucks to deliver equipment and materials for the dam and the new town of Page, Arizona. (SOURCE: Canyon Country)
For awhile this bridge was one of the highest in the world. It now ranks, according to this list at Wikipedia, at number 28.

Construction on the dam began in 1956 and was not completed until 1966. Lady Bird Johnson, dedicated the dam on September 22, 1966.

To read more about the bridge and dam click here to go to Wikipedia.

Here's a video I found on YouTube created by "Hoosier Tim's Travel Videos" showing the dam and the bridge.



Imagine my surprise when I sorted through the Ten Buck Box and found this, a "category" photo. One to add to my prized collection of people eating watermelon. Alas, no pig in this photo, which is really a sub-sub-category. I shall hope someday to expand that sub-sub-category, but for now I'll just be happy with this.

Hmmm...new category, people eating watermelon in the middle of a road with a car quickly approaching. I must find more!

For those into sub-sub-categories just click here.


I believe this is Gertrude Bowen with her class of students in Arizona. This was most likely taken in the mid-to-late 1930s.

Click on image to see it larger.

I don't know how many tribes are represented in this shot, but believe the boy on the far right is Diné/Navajo. I hope it was a school that allowed each child's culture to flourish, especially their language. I'd hate to think of it as one of the schools where Native children were forced to conform to white culture.

It's interesting to think back on how rural Arizona was. No freeways. No tall buildings. At the same time this shot was taken Arizona was advertising their "dude ranches" in magazines to tourists all over the country.

Imagine what these children thought when tourists showed up with cameras wanting to take their photo. There had to be moments when they felt like animals stuck in a zoo.


It's FLAT, DUSTY, and out in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE

We are so far removed from what we see here. There were barely any middlemen between Frances Cheney and her land. She just had to choose a piece of land and then build something on it to claim it. There are no trees to be seen so in order to build that shack the Cheney's needed to bring everything with them in that wagon.

Click on image to see it larger.

What was it about this desolate and dusty spot that appealed to them? Flat as far as the eye can see. Eastern Colorado? Could they see the Rockies off to the West? Behind them the flat vista of Kansas? How close were neighbors? A town? Water?

Oh how easy it is for us to get up each morning from our comfortable bed and get breakfast before leaving our home to go work. We have a fridge with food and a stove that simply needs to be turned on. But then we also have the daily drama of people we don't know and wouldn't want to know intruding into our lives with their bad behavior; I'm talking about television and the net. In the evening it's likely these folks stood outside watching the nightly celestial show, not what stupid thing Murdoch and his minions did that day.

Would these folks exchange their lives for ours? Or would we exchange ours for theirs? Or would we both just want a happy balance between the two? That's what I'm looking for. A foot in both places leaving the consumerism of today outside my world, bringing nature and the stars at night closer.

Just another image from the Ten Buck Box.



This photo should have been included with Saturday's Sepia Saturday post, but I only discovered it today.

This is schoolteacher Gertrude Helen (Rich) Bowen in April of 1973.

Click on image to see it larger.

Gertrude died January 12, 1974 at 9:30 A.M. at John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.



I have no idea what year this photo was taken. It is from the Ten Buck Box. I believe through a family marriage Gertrude Bowen is related to the person in this shot.

Click on image to see it larger.

Gertrude (from yesterday's post) had a sister, Frances Grace Rich, who was born June 21, 1888 in Nebraska. On November 11, 1914 she married Walter Cheney. So whoever is in this photo would be directly related to Walter. Thus they would be related to Frances and through Frances the relationship to Gertrude. Now you know why geneaology is often called tracing your roots. They just go out in all directions.

As to what the "claim" might be, your guess is as good as mine. Was it for land or precious metals? Perhaps someone who knows Colorado history would have an idea. Somewhere in the hundreds of photos is, as I recall, another one of this shack, but nothing is written on the back.

I'll see where the Ten Buck Box leads me next.



Last Sunday I purchased a small bin of photographs at the flea market. You can read about it here. For this weeks Sepia Saturday I'm going to feature a woman who probably once owned many of these photos.

Gertrude Helen Rich was born on December 21, 1885. At some point she married and her last name became Bowen. She was a schoolteacher in Nebraska, which is also where I believe she was born. She had a son named Arthur who was stationed in Germany after the war. They both eventually ended up in Phoenix, Arizona. That is all the biographical information I know about Gertrude.

This first photo was a "Souvenir of Our School Days" taken by W. P. Fritz in Fremont, Nebraska. On the back of a copy of this photo it says:
Mrs. Gertrude H. Bowen Graduation Picture Fremont College, Nebraska About 1905

On the back of this shot it says:
Gertrude Helen Rich (Bowen) second from the right, her friend Elizabeth Davidson third from the right, on a picture taking expedition with three high school boys on March 18, 1910. Near Springfield, Nebraska.

Click on image to see it larger.

On October 21, 1930 she received the following teaching certificate.

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On October 4, 1932 she received the following certificate in Arizona.

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On the back of this shot it says:
Phoenix, Arizona
July 1954
Left to Right:
Mrs. Gertrude H. Bowen
Homer Graves (her nephew)
Arthur D. Bowen (Mrs. Bowen's son)
Donald Graves (Homer's son)

Click on image to see it larger.

And finally this shot was processed in June 1961.

It fascinates me as to how many collections I have that once belonged to schoolteachers.

All this week I have been featuring photos from this bin which I call the Ten Buck Box. I will continue to feature even more images over the coming weeks.

UPDATE: I've added an additional photo of Gertrude here which is the oldest I have of her. It was taken in 1973. She died in 1974.



The phrase "a furrowed brow" usually isn't used when describing a toddler, but I really don't know how else to explain this child.

According to the writing on the back of this photo, these are twins, Danny and Donna. Maybe it's just me, but I see Jeckle and Hyde when I look at this. This boy's furrowed brows are deep enough to plant a row of crops in. He also reminds me of someone and I can't recall who it might be.

What would cause such consternation at such a young age? Wise beyond his years? Maybe it was the hair gel? Yeah, that's got to be it.

Just another image from the Ten Buck Box.

Don't mess with MELVIN'S BOYS

You've heard of the James Gang, the Younger's, and the Daltons's. I give you the Melvin Gang, more often known as Melvin's Boys: Duane, Craig, and the meanest of them all who has no name. You best not interrupt these boys when they be eatin' or you might be eatin' lead real fast.

Click on image to see it larger.

Another image from the Ten Buck Box.


Mother and Son PENNY PHOTO

This is another image from the Ten Buck Box. It was covered in mold, the image barely visible. I don't have much hope for it so I decided I'd better scan it now.

Click on image to see it larger.

This is a "penny photo" strip, an early precursor to the photobooth we are more familiar with. Every so often I find one of these horizontal strips. Usually I find just a single shot cut from a strip.

No information as to who this young boy and woman are. It could be mother and son or brother and sister. The back of the image supplies no information other than it was taken at a studio in Iowa.

I am fascinated how much the woman looks like a Kennedy, especially in the center shot. I can almost hear the Boston accent as she coaxes the boy to stay close.



Another badly damaged photo from the henceforth known as "Ten Buck Box." I actually like the damage to this image. She's not a particularly interesting woman, but because of the aging she takes on a rather ghostly quality. I believe an entire ghost story could be written about this image.

I find nothing about a photographer in McGregor, Iowa. There was obviously more information on the back, but it too is now just a ghostly representation of what once was. The handwriting does not clearly indicate anything. I see an "87" near the upper right which could indicate the date of the image, but we'll never know.

How strange this woman would find that well over 100 years after this portrait was taken it would be shared with the world and not just her close-knit family and friends. Who she was and the life she led would be now so inconsequential.


The FINE LADY at Duchochois and Klauser

Yesterday was a fine day to be at the flea market. First I found a children's book I used to have. I had forgotten about it until I saw the images and then one of those warm comforting memory flashes overcame me. I soon parted with one dollar.

I would have been content to call it a day with my one find. It was a busy day at the market with lots of food sellers, tool sales, brightly colored toys, and piles of used clothing. I wasn't hoping for much. And then I saw a bin sitting on a table with envelopes sticking out. I zeroed in. Then I smiled. It was a plastic bin of photos.

The down side is that a lot of the photos are damaged, badly damaged with mold. I decided before diving head first into this murky mess I'd ask the seller what he wanted. He said, "Ten bucks."

I stared back from behind my dark sunglasses and stupid ugly sun hat, "For all of it?"


"Including the box? Do you want to keep the box?"

He shook his head and waved me off as much as saying, "Get that thing out of here."

Ten bucks appeared from my big wallet, not my flea market purse. I had to go deep for this one.

So then began the laborious task of sorting the photos by damage. There are well over 400 photos, some old postcards, some interesting letters, an old address book, a sweet little photo album from the turn of the 20th century, and some personal papers for a woman who was a teacher. In fact I believe this collection of mish-mash belonged to either her or her son. Someone even did some genealogy work which was also included.

I threw away probably about a dozen images. Others needed cleaned with q-tips and alcohol. None of the damaged ones are of real emotional or visual value, so it does not upset me to see them in precarious condition. They have now all been sorted and put into separate envelopes, the moldy ones far from those that are pristine. Just because some are moldy doesn't mean they're useless, such as the one below.

This photo, badly faded, of a woman in a stunningly bulky outfit was taken at the studio of Duchochois and Klauser which was located at 630 Broadway, New York.

Click on images to see them larger.

I'm not finding any biographical information about either photographer, but they did run the following small ad in the New York Weekly Review, Volume 13 in 1862. If you Google their names you will find some of their work in various archives around the country. You can see other work here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here is one for sale. And you can click here to see a page of photos, only one by Duchochois and Klauser, of Mrs. H. S. Wilson.

Sadly there is also no information about this woman. The coat fascinates me with the fan pattern on the sleeve. It all appears to be a bit too much, but I'm imaging for her day she was quite stylish. Imagine heading off to work these days carrying your laptop in its case slung over your shoulder. To say nothing of fitting this entire ensemble into your cubicle.

And just to add a little link to the past posts I did over a week ago, we can see that at some point someone did a little hand tinting to the lady. Her cheeks, lips, flowers around her bonnet, and for some reason a white spot on her forehead. She looks quite Christmas-y.

All of these images for less than 3 cents each. Yes, it was a good day at the flea market.