We used to be CLOSER TO THE LAND

These days few of us are really close to the land we live on. We don't pay much attention to where our food comes from or the people who raise it. I'll be truthful and say I'm perhaps a little closer than most because I live in a working orchard. I feel the seasons change. I look anxiously for the bees each year when the trees have blossomed. I anticipate the harvest.

For most of us we can easily trace our ancestors back to those who in some way made a living off the land. On my father's side I need only go back to his childhood to find him living on a ranch. On my mother's side I must go back to her father and his youth.

Our ancestors knew what it was like to breath in the dust of a newly plowed field. To watch the weather in anticipation of how it would affect the growing season.

These photos were all bought at estate sales. The first group is of farmers in Nebraska.

Click on any image to see it larger.

On the back of the shot above it says "preparing ground for alfalfa."

And these are from California.

And though these have been posted before, they fit the theme perfectly.

This is my submission to this weeks Sepia Saturday theme of "work."



In 1915 the Coleman's lived at 2118 West 16th Street, Los Angeles, California. It was their "Home, Sweet Home." If they wished to return today to this address they'd not find their lovely two story apartment building. The address is now a rather nondescript neighborhood of single family homes. But then it's not actually the same street. I'll get to that.

Click on image to see it larger.

In 1915 they rented the upper left apartment and placed some potted plants on the upstairs railing, one inside a soy sauce bucket. Perhaps there were other uses for such buckets, but in Hawaii we called it a soy sauce bucket and I still have one I use as a stool.

I'm assuming that's Mrs. Coleman with her hand on her hip laying claim to her home. A beautiful building.

Want to rent one of the apartments? Just call the realtor at A-4234.

I give you the soy sauce bucket planter.

So what you'd find today at this address is the image below provided by Google.

But thanks to two readers I now know that indeed the building does still exist and is not the nondescript single family home shown above.

The first comment opening my eyes to the possibility was from Daniel who enlightened me to the fact that over the years many street names had been changed in Los Angeles. Then thanks to Mike Brubaker of TempoSenza Tempo I can now show you what the building looks like today. It's still a stunning building even if the doors have bars on them. Not a particularly nice neighborhood, but it looks as if the owner is keeping the place up. You can see a 360 shot of the neighborhood here.

Thank you Daniel! And bravo Mike!

To see an ad for a vintage Kodak Brownie Starburst camera visit my other site Tattered and Lost Ephemera.


The FEZ FELLOW caught in midsentence

I know nothing about this fellow in the fez. It's a photo that's been in the bin at the antique store for a long time. I often come upon it, laugh, then put it back. This last time I figured it was fate. If nobody else had wanted him it was obvious I was going to finally be the sucker to take him home.

Click on image to see it larger.

Every time I look at this photo, even now that I own it, I always think he's wearing one of those hornrim glasses with the fake nose and mustache attached. He isn't. That's all him, but it catches me every time.

As to the clutter that surrounds him? I haven't a clue. I'm sure someday someone will come along and explain all of this to me. Perhaps some shortwave equipment? He's definitely channeling something.


GOING OUT for lunch

This weeks Sepia Saturday theme is Going Out. That leaves things pretty wide open. Going out to play. Going out for a night on the town. Going out shopping. Going out dancing. Going out to lunch. It's endless.

I give you "out to lunch" in more ways than one.

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I love this shot. There's something a bit scary about it. And I've always thought the woman on the left has a whole Quentin Crisp vibe going on. I wonder if that comparison would ruffle her fur? She looks like a woman of many opinions and probably pretty adamant about them. I'm guessing that when the 1960s came along she was not the least impressed with how young people behaved. But then we didn't go out so much as hang out.



Continuing with photos from World War II from my Uncle Roy’s collection from New Guinea.

Click on image to see it larger.

I have no information about this plane wreckage. Is it an American plane that was taken out during a Japanese bombing of New Guinea? Was it shot down? Probably no way of knowing. Not even sure it was on New Guinea.

It’s from our past. It’s war. It’s part of our present and future.



In December of 2010 I posted a few photos from my great Uncle Roy's collection. He served in the Seabees in World War II and died in 1958. You can find the posts by clicking on "Uncle Roy" in the labels below. You'll see an interesting photo of parachutists, some vintage plane nose art, and a couple of Seabees.

I know nothing about any of his photos, but this one is quite curious. Uncle Roy served at least part of the time in New Guinea. I don't know if this was taken there, nor do I know who the fellow is in the photo.

The Jungle Skippers were officially known as the 317th Troop Carrier Group. The following is a portion of a speech given by Jim Timmons, Vice President of the 317th Veteran's Group, in September 2005. Click on the source link at the end to read the entire speech.
The Jungle Skippers were the squadrons of the 317 th Troop Carrier Group. They were the 39th, 40th , 41st, and 46th Troop Carrier Squadrons. They served in the South Pacific Theater of operations under the 5th Air Force commanded by General George Kenny. The squadrons were activated at Duncan Field, Texas in Feb. 1942. They trained at Army airfields across the United States . This included training in troop drop operations at Lawson Field in Ft. Benning , GA. and glider towing training at Grenada , Mississippi . After completion of training they were deployed to Townsville , Australia in Jan. of 1943. They went right to work flying troops and supplies from Australia to Port Moresby , New Guinea . Their baptism of fire came that same month in New Guinea . The Australians were desperately trying to hold on to a vital airstrip at Wau. The Japanese were close to over running the Aussies. The 317 th flew in much needed reinforcements, ammunition and artillery. The Wau airstrip was a difficult airstrip to land on even without a battle going on. The strip was uphill; it rose one foot for every twelve feet. To make matters worse there was a crescent shaped mountain at the end of the runway making a last minute go around impossible. Despite this, over sixty landings were made on that first day. There was machine gun and sniper fire at the first aircraft in, and the reinforcements left the planes with their guns firing to silence the Japanese guns. The battle for Wau was won and the Japanese were pushed further back into the jungle. (SOURCE: USAF 317 Vet)
You'll notice that the 39th, 40th, 41st and 46th squadrons are mentioned, not the one shown here with "44" on the side. So that's the mystery. Was it really one of the Jungle Skippers?

Click on image to see it larger.

Wikipedia has this about the Jungle Skippers:
Formed at Duncan Field, Texas, on 22 February 1942. The group's humble beginning consisted of eighteen enlisted men and one Captain which formed the entire unit. Moved to Australia, December 1942 – January 1943, and assigned to Fifth AF. the 317 Troop Carrier Group (TCG) was the second airlift group to arrive in the Southwest Pacific Theater during World War II.

Operated in New Guinea for a short time early in 1943. Received a DUC for making numerous flights in unarmed planes over the Owen Stanley Range, 30 January – 1 February 1943 to transport reinforcements and supplies to Wau, New Guinea, where enemy forces were threatening a valuable Allied airdrome.

Exchanged its new C-47’s for a variety of aircraft in New Guinea and began operating from Australia, where the group had maintained its headquarters, Flew troops and equipment to New Guinea, established courier and passenger routes in Australia, and trained with airborne troops.

Equipped with C-47’s and moved to New Guinea in September 1943. Took part in the first airborne operation in the Southwest Pacific on 5 September, dropping paratroops at Nadzab, New Guinea, to cut supply lines and seize enemy bases. Until November 1944, transported men and cargo to Allied bases on New Guinea, New Britain, Guadalcanal, and in the Admiralty Islands. Also dropped reinforcements and supplies to US forces on Noemfoor, 3–4 July 1944.

After moving to the Philippines in November 1944, transported supplies to ground forces on Luzon, Leyte, and Mindoro, and supplied guerrillas on Mindanao, Cebu, and Panay. Participated in two airborne operations during February 1945: on 3 and 4 February dropped paratroops south of Manila to seize highway routes to the city, and on 16 and 17 February dropped the 502d Regiment on Corregidor to open Manila Bay to US shipping; received a DUC for the latter operation, performed at low altitude over small drop zones in a heavily defended area. Completed two unusual missions on 12 and 15 April 1945 when this troop carrier organization bombed Carabo Island with drums of napalm. Dropped part of 511th Regiment near Aparri on 23 June 1945 to split Japanese forces in the Cagayen Valley and prevent a retreat to the hills in northern Luzon. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
To see other photos of Jungle Skipper planes click here. And if you stumbled upon this page and are interested in the 317th Troop Carrier Groups reunions click here.

Each day we lose more and more of the World War II vets. This past week a flying ace died who belonged to the World War II pilot's group my dad belongs to. Another has resigned himself to his fate with cancer. The verbal history will soon be gone.

UPDATE: The following was sent to me today in a comment.
The 44 on the side of the Jungle Skipper C-47 is not a squadron number. It's a Chalk Number, a temporary number put on the aircraft prior to a troop drop to identify the aircraft to the paratroopers assigned to it when multiple aircraft are used for a troop drop.
Thanks "Anonymous" for the information.

New book NOW available on Amazon.
Tattered and Lost: Forgotten Dolls

This one is for those who love dolls!

Snapshots from the last 100+ years of children and adults with dolls. Okay, there are a couple of dogs too.

Perfect stocking stuffer for the doll collector on your list!


It's a COKE PARTY! Bring your own straw.

The title of this post would mean something completely different a very long time ago when this vintage snapshot was taken. Sad really. Innocence lost.

Click on image to see it larger.

To see vintage Coca-Cola ads visit my Tattered and Lost Ephemera site and click on "Coca-Cola" or "Coca Cola" in the labels at the bottom of the post.



This weeks Sepia Saturday theme is scouting. Though I was in scouting for a few years as a Brownie and Girl Scout, by the time I was heading into junior high I got out of it. I have one photo, which I have misplaced, of me in my Brownie uniform with my troop, and my best friend, taken either aboard a submarine or a destroyer, I can't remember which. We visited both at different times in Pearl Harbor.

The following real photo post cards come from my paternal grandparents collection. My grandfather was a scout master in Motherwell, Scotland. He is not in either of the troop photos. I have no idea who any of the people are, though I've always laughed that the one short fellow in the back row of the first photo looks like a scared Roger Daltry.

To see more scouting ephemera visit my site Tattered and Lost Ephemera to see some pages from the 1960 American Boy Scout Handbook.

Click on any image to see it larger.



I’ve got two books to recommend you might be interested in if you love vernacular photography and ephemera.

The first, Brown Angels, is a book of original poetry coupled with really wonderful photos of African-American children from the early 20th century. I found it in a used bookstore after Christmas. It’s a really sweet and joyous children’s book, but being a collector of vernacular photography I knew I needed to add it to my collection of photo books, not just my children’s book collection.

The second, The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures, is just plain fun. Author Caroline Preston has taken ephemera from her collection and created a “novel” telling the story of young Frankie Pratt from her teen years to early 20s. Page after page of what appears to be her scrapbook, a story unfolds of young Frankie’s life as she longs to be a writer. Love, college, Paris, and again love provide the storyline. I really can’t say enough about it. Wonderful images throughout and a real treasure trove for artists looking for inspiration.

To see more about either book you can click on the links in the left column to read reviews at Amazon.


Deconstructing the whole SHEBANG: The End

The final fairy. The finale to this vintage production of "Who Knows What?" I have never come up with a fitting play or musical that fits all of these parts, probably never will.

Click on image to see it larger.

So as they tippy toe into the sunset let us hope they were received with great applause and few guffaws.

Click on the word "Theatrical" in the labels below to see the previous posts of women in costumes.


Deconstructing the whole SHEBANG: Part 9

I think I might know why this woman is not looking at the camera and it isn't because of the annoying feather. It's the fact that her costume is made from from an old green plastic tarp. At first I thought garbage bags, but then I realized it was an Ace Hardware green, or possibly blue, tarp. She showed up late when the play was being cast and she got the part of the...ummmmmm...I really don't know, but she was stuck wearing the tarps.

Click on the word "Theatrical" in the labels below to see the previous posts of women in costumes.


HAIR TODAY, gone tomorrow

If you lived through the 1960s you'll remember that hair played a huge part in everyone's life. Hair wasn't just hair, it was a statement. Okay, hairstyles have probably always been a bit of a personal statement, but now it was a political statement. I guess tattoos and piercings are the fashion and political statement being used today.

Men have always had the potential problem that they'd lose their hair. Often when a man loses hair at the top of his head he chooses to grow it out of the bottom.

This weeks Sepia Saturday theme is facial hair. I give you two examples of facial hair making a statement. And then I give you examples of some seriously whacky hair atop men's heads.


Deconstructing the whole SHEBANG: Part 8

I'm guessing that her act went...

something like this.

Click on the word "Theatrical" in the labels below to see the previous posts of women in costumes.


Deconstructing the whole SHEBANG: Part 7

Warning! Time Traveling Celebrity!

I've written about this before; celebrities who time travel in hopes of perhaps doing some research for a role or just a chance to get away from modern day paparazzi. The jig is up thanks to a trusty old Kodak Brownie. Anne Heche has been found in a group shot of women from long ago. At least she chose to time travel as an actor. The same cannot be said for Will Ferrell in drag in my grandmother's photo album.

Click on the word "Theatrical" in the labels below to see the previous posts of women in costumes. Click on "Time-Traveling-Celebrity" to see a few more celebs caught in old vintage snapshots.


Deconstructing the whole SHEBANG: Part 6

The woman formerly known as Prince.

Click on the word "Theatrical" in the labels below to see the previous posts of women in costumes.


Deconstructing the whole SHEBANG: Part 5

Oh please, please...I just want to go home. I just want to go home!

Freakin' wand doesn't work!!!

Click on the word "Theatrical" in the labels below to see the previous posts of women in costumes.



With no opportunity this weekend to participate in Sepia Saturday I did want to post this vernacular image for the theme of "games."

The fellow on the left is Mr. Roberts who was an adventurous member of the Coast Guard. I do not know who is on the right. It always struck me as an image from an old 1930s movie.

To see more of Mr. Roberts click on "Mr. Roberts" in the labels below.


Deconstructing the whole SHEBANG: Part 4

Tickets still available for all upcoming performances. Or you can just sit on the floor. We don't really care.

Click on the word "Theatrical" in the labels below to see the previous posts of women in costumes.