Proof HE WAS THERE photos

Surely you've got a lot of photos of someone standing by something, which at the time seemed very important or amusing. Once home you realize you've got nothing. Never a close up of anyone; just posed shots next to doors and plants. Virtually this entire collection of Charlie, and the wife he left behind, are posed shots.

So here's another long tall Texan shot. In this one he's in Phoenix, Arizona. It sort of feels a bit like I'm taking the garden elves on trips. Charlie seems to fit the bill.

And I do believe a new category could begin with this image: men standing next to cactus.


I have many more photos of Charlie sitting. Charlie sitting with his pipe. Charlie sitting with a coffee cup. Charlie sitting all over the place, but I thought I'd prove that Charlie also looked quite nice standing.

This shot was taken at the Grand Canyon in May 1986.

Warning: Charlie will appear again. Believe me I will sneak some more Charlie in once in a while. The holiday shot is not to be missed.


CHARLIE continues to sit

Is it me or does Charlie just seem to sit nicer than most of us?

I have so many photos of Charlie sitting that it could be a category all by itself, not even a subcategory.


Sitting Man...IT'S A CATEGORY

CHARLIE: The Sitting Man

This is Charlie. I have a lot of photos of Charlie sitting. I have photos of Charlie standing. For the next few days we will watch Charlie sit.

See Charlie. See Charlie sit.

Folks, it doesn't get anymore exciting than this.



This weeks Sepia Saturday is a fellow sitting in a chair. It could be a category. Yes indeed, “Man In Chair” sounds like a perfectly reasonable category title.

Without category intent, I can say that I have acquired a large collection of one man sitting in chairs. Okay, there’s also a shot of him sitting on a bed so I guess that would be a subcategory. He also stands perfectly straight in front of things. Actually, I’m not convinced the standing shots are real. I believe it’s possible that his wife simply had a cut-out made that she took with her on vacations.

The shot I’m about to show you has so many categories that it boggles the mind. I’ll list just a few and let you guess the others:
Man In Chair
Cutting the Cake. Okay, officially this is not completely true. We don’t actually see any cutting or even a knife. I suppose I should call this an "anticipatory cake cutting" subcategory. I have others that would easily fit into this subcategory.

Man With Nice Legs, short, but nice. Open toe shoe no less.

Double Exposure

Woman in Adirondack Chair

I think you can see where this is going. There are categories and subcategories galore. And of course once categorized I’ll be keeping a watchful eye for more to add to the collection. Join in! Add your own!

And should anyone have any Fart Fairy images let me know. I'm thinking they deserve their own web page. And for those who only stop by here occasionally...yes, you missed a Fart Fairy.


HAVE WATERMELON, Will Travel! It's a category.

It's a category! One of my faves. Have no idea why I ended up with this category. You buy one watermelon shot and the next thing you know you start seeing others. You think, "Hmmmm...maybe there's something to this. Watermelon. People seem to love watermelon."

Oh sure, there are other categories much easier to collect, but do the people almost always look happy? I find my watermelon shots the people look content, some even prideful of the melons they have. I can't say all the shots of people cutting cakes are as equally happy.

This is a recent acquisition. A most unusual watermelon shot. On the road with watermelon! Perhaps a subcategory!

Click on either image to see it larger.

So how did this come about? Was there a time when people said, "Hey Mabel, lets put the kids in the car, hook on the wagon, drive out to a sunflower field, and eat watermelon!" Apparently so.

(I sort of like the way these categories and subcategories make me sound like I've lost a few marbles. Okay, most of my marbles. Perhaps I should actually show up at a high school reunion and when asked what I do I could deadpan and say, "I collect photos of people eating watermelon." And believe me, I could deadpan right through this and have their confused expressions forever etched into my brain. And as they walked away I'd hear, "She was always odd, wasn't she?" to which the other would say, "I don't remember her.")


I'm telling you, IT'S A CATEGORY!

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows I like categories. I will never pass by a shot of someone cutting a cake or people eating watermelon.

I now add a new category…fart fairies.



For this weeks Sepia Saturday I'm doing a reposting from 2009. I had so few readers at the time that I doubt anyone remembers Barry the Florist.

Once upon a time there was a little florist's shop at 222 Market Street, San Francisco. The owner's name, according to the big sign on the front of the shop, was Barry. Barry was proud of his shop and the truck he had for making deliveries. You could buy an orchid for $1.50 and you got free delivery all over the city. Looking for a gold fish in a bowl with a castle? $1.98 from Barry. Longing for a pair of love birds in a cage? $9.95 complete from Barry.

Over the years how many women saw Barry's truck pull-up out front of their home and paused hoping there were flowers inside for them? How many young men walked nervously through the doorway wanting to buy a corsage for the young lady who'd caught their eye? And how many families who had just lost a loved one to war saw Barry's truck arrive with funeral wreaths in remembrance?

Barrys Florist truck_tatteredandlost

We'll never know the answers to any of these questions. Barry the small businessman is not at 222 Market Street anymore. The entire block was raised a long time ago replaced with a cement plaza and two large nondescript high-rises. I've walked by this address many times and never even thought of the life that once was. Now it's just noise of a big city, homeless people, corporate logos. I think we should all miss Barry and what he represented.

PHI TAU HOUSE PARTY in 1909: The End

The parties over.

Click on either image to see it larger.


PHI TAU HOUSE PARTY in 1909: Part 7

Interesting that the older women, I'm assuming the house mothers, didn't go in for the Gibson Girl look. Now, as to the house "father" in the background....


Deconstructing PHI TAU HOUSE PARTY in 1909

I give you, according to what is written on the back of the photo:
Phi Tau House Party
State College Commencement June 11-16 , 1909
This was at Pennsylvania State College according to a pillow one woman is holding. There are a few names written on the back, but nothing specifically corresponds with the image.

Click on image to see it larger.

I've owned this photo for close to 40 years. I used to have it stuck on my wall before I ever thought of these photos having any value; they were merely something to look at.

Over the coming days I will do what I often do with group photos...deconstruct it. Small portions of the image will be shown before "unveiling" the full image. I find it easier to take in the whole by looking at the few.

As far as the Phi Tau house, Wikipedia lists it as a coeducational fraternity at Dartmouth College founded in 1905. There is no mention of a house at Penn State. I now see a Tau Phi at State, but no Phi Tau. (Okay, just typing that has me thinking of the line in the old Bob Newhart show, "More goo to go." Never mind. It had to do with a bunch of drunks ordering Chinese food on Thanksgiving.)


AN ACCIDENT waiting to happen

Alan at Sepia Saturday has posted this weeks "theme" photo so I thought I'd oblige by staying on theme. That is I'm assuming the theme is "men about to fall down stairs."


If you live in the US you've probably heard of the Hair Club for Men. Well, I give you the "Hat Club For Men" from long ago.

Poor little Howard longed for when he was old enough to wear a hat. Alas there were many tough years ahead (so to speak) before his pate would be covered with a masculine chapeau.

Click on image to see it larger.

The rites of passage of this particular Scandinavian group were written into their family history. Beanies after age 7, but seriously, no kid wanted to wear a beanie for too long so most went hatless. Upon their 14th birthday they were taken shopping by an elder uncle who would make hat suggestions, mostly through grunts and nods, until the boy, almost a man, had made a decent choice.

Caps were frowned upon, but after much gossip amongst family members, the cap wearer was usually given a reluctant "okie dokie" and left alone.

Howard did not want a cap. He had his eye on a light beige felt hat with a deep blue ribbon band. His mother warned him not to get his heart set on it because fashion was fickle and the hat might be gone before he reached the Age of Chapeau.

Secretly Howard would ride his bike past Burford's Hat Shop each day on his way home from school. He would stop and stare at the hat, dreaming of the day he became a hat wearing man.

Alas, by the time Howard was of age he shocked everyone by choosing a cowboy hat. The family began regretting their immigration.

The truth is that these are indeed Scandinavian fellas, but I think their gathering had nothing to do with hats. The fella on the far right is Alfred Kallman who has been the subject of many past posts (here, here, and here).


A WELL-TO-DO brother and sister

Just making it under the wire I give you my contribution to this weeks Sepia Saturday. Trying to clean the house and prepare food for our annual BBQ had me wondering if I'd find time to get here. So now before my guests arrive...

Taking a leap with Alan's theme I give you two children from a well-to-do family. These photos were purchased at an estate sale many years ago. I do not know what became of the little boy, but the woman married a Naval officer. She had two children, a son and daughter. I do not know what became of the daughter, but the son was killed in an experimental plane crash. I do not know if she was alive when this happened. I have a few photos of her with her son and her as a bride. She was a beautiful child who grew into a beautiful woman.

This first image was taken in Davenport, Iowa by Hostetler. I have no information about the second photographer. Both are very large prints.

Click on either image to see it larger.

Attention Genealogists

If you'll be attending the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference this coming week in Springfield, Illinois drop by booth 809 and say "Hi" to my friend Lorel Kapke, creator of genealogy software Sort Your Story.


DECONSTRUCTED couple: Part 5

Sometimes I become entranced with an image, longing to know about the people. I feel this way about this woman. I want her to become alive, three dimensional with all her flaws and charms.

What was her passion in life? Was she free with thought and feelings? Was she fulfilled by her life? Would we be able to talk to her as equals though so much time has passed? As a young girl did she ever throw her head back in joy and spin around and around beneath the expansive sky smiling in anticipation of life? I wonder.

Nothing left but dust floating with the currents.

Click on image to see it larger.