LOOKING BACK on a friendship and summer

Why is it summertime brings back such vivid memories? I think more so than other times of the year. But then, maybe it's just me.

I don't know the story behind this house or the two women sitting on the porch. Perhaps it wasn't even taken in the summer. I have my reasons for guessing that this might actually be Florida which means it could be just about any time of the year. They can have windows open all year long. Of course, with the weather changes everywhere, I can remember having my doors and windows open in February this year.

So, if the warmth of the summer is what helps to make memories so vivid, does this mean with global warming we'll be getting more memories throughout the year?

It's okay, I ramble like this sometimes. I'm not in need of medical attention. It's just the heat and the memories I'm making.

Click on image to see it larger.


BENCH or two-holer?

A couple questions about this shot.

Boy or girl?

Bench or two-holer?

Whatever is going on, I like the dappled sunlight.


The TROLL DOLL really adds mystery to the shot

Don’t you hate it when people put you on their “cc” email list and constantly send you tons of photos of cute baby animals? 

But do they send you cute baby kittens with a troll doll?

Click on image to see it larger. But seriously, what's the point?

To see more vintage snapshots of pets click on the “PETS” label below.


I'M WALKIN' HERE! with the Mob

Another in the category of "I'm Walkin Here!"

I've always found this shot interesting because I've decided he's a mobster with a broken hand. Oh sure, the copy says he got it broken at "music school," but I'm guessing he was carrying a violin case at the time.

"Broke hand on Jan. 5, 1951 at Music School - cast off Feb. 5"

Click on image to see it larger.


I'M WALKIN' HERE! within the Twilight Zone

Another image in the "I'm Walkin' Here!" category.

A boring photo for sure, but look at the mannequin in the background. What if that's the mannequin played by actress Anne Francis in the Twilight Zone episode The After Hours. The whole feeling of the image would change. Of course, that's why I bought this dull photo. I secretly wished the mannequin was from the 9th floor.

Click on image to see it larger.

Don't remember the episode? Read about it here.


X MARKS THE SPOT Deconstructed

There was a suggestion to take this past Sepia Saturday post and deconstruct the image. Sounded good to me.

As I looked at the faces of the women and the costumes they’re wearing all sorts of silly ideas came to mind. Then I thought of Rosa who was born in Europe but left, I believe, before the war. With that thought I had a new perspective of the context in which these women lived. This shot was possibly taken in Europe which means these women were soon to face years and years of war. I could no longer be flippant about them. Let their silly hats do the speaking while we fill in the missing pieces of their lives.

Strangely, the most classically pretty in the bunch is the one whose face is destroyed with the fold in the photo. I'm sure it was by accident.


X MARKS THE SPOT, Perhaps the Other Is Simply Named Dot

This week's Sepia Saturday said amateur theatrical production to me and I knew exactly what shot I would contribute.

I have no information about these lovely ladies. My best friend and I have speculated that the one with the dots coming out of her head might be Rosa, but we just can’t be sure. Now, only folks who have been here for a long time will recognize the name Rosa. For those who know nothing about her simply click on the word “Rosa” in the labels below.

Whatever is going on, let’s hope there were tea and cakes to be had after the shot was taken.

Click on image to see it larger.



Yes, “I’m Walkin’ Here!” is a vernacular photography category, a category I don’t actually persue. There are simply so many of these images available that I usually just go right past them in the boxes at the antique store. Once in a while I do buy them if what’s going on in the background is interesting or the reaction of those being photographed draws me in.

Click on image to see it larger.

These sort of shots were taken by wandering photographers, sort of like the type you find as you come off a gangplank on a cruise ship. The difference is that you expect the ones on the cruise ship, not the ones in the middle of the sidewalk who leap out at you.

What I really wonder about is what percentage of people who were photographed actually showed up to buy the shots? And what sort of mishaps did the photographers have to deal with? I’m guessing there are some interesting stories to be told.

Probably one of the most famous couples walking down the street are Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo from the movie Midnight Cowboy. Did any photographer ever have an encounter with someone like Ratso? You couldn't pay me enough to do that job.


From PRETEEN to TEEN in the 1950s

Letterman sweaters and getting pinned. You know, I'm really happy that was on the way out by the time I got to high school.

The last in the series of this girl's life. Ready to take on the world or at least the Rate the Record booth on Bandstand.

Click on image to see it larger.

And now a step back into her time with a song that's got a good beat and is easy to dance to.

Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 7 available at Amazon.


From PRETEEN to TEEN in the 1950s

Before there was the internet or 800 numbers there was shop through the mail. A box arrived with something you'd ordered out of a catalog. There was no overnight shipping. You waited anxiously for your order to arrive. Catalogs were wish books. And what better thing to do than go through the wish book with a friend, each pointing to things you want and will never have. Shopping and teenagers just seem to go together.

Click on image to see it larger.


PRETEEN to TEEN in the 1950s

The next three days I'll be featuring vintage snapshots of a girl in possibly the late 40s to mid-50s. She's what I was convinced being a teenager would be like. Well, yes, if I'd actually been a teenager in the '50s instead of the '60s.

Alone with an egg.

Click on image to see it larger.

I love this kitchen. I really do love it. The stove reminds me of the one in my last apartment. And I'm guessing that fridge was not frost free. Just think, there are people who have never had to defrost a freezer. Boggles my mind.
Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 7 available at Amazon.


POCKETFUL of stuff

Were there any of us in 1972 who would have believed that 40 years later (whoa, I need to take a pause...it just hit me...40 years, it's been 40 YEARS! Damn I'm old!) people would be carrying phones that would allow them to speak to someone on the other side of the world while they were shopping...driving...and in one case with one friend, while in the bathroom? And that the phone would also be their camera, their map, their restaurant guide, and on and on and...?

Kodak had the right idea for size, but they just didn't foresee the future. Shouldn't Kodak have been the one to put cameras in phones? How did they lose their way?

(SOURCE: Life, August 18, 1972) Click on image to see it larger.

To see more Kodak ads click on "Kodak" in the labels below.


SURFACE WEAR...deconstructed

Unknown couple from long ago, tattered and lost.

Click image to see it larger.


SURFACE WEAR...deconstructed

I may just be one of those odd people who see things where others don't, but I find real beauty in this image.

Click on image to see it larger.


SURFACE WEAR...deconstructed

Some photos are so badly worn and damaged that, unless someone has a personal connection to the image, the image is thought of as useless junk. Well, I have a different point of view. I find these sort of images fascinating simply because of the surface wear. What might have been an ordinary photograph suddenly takes on the brush strokes of time.

Over the next few posts I'll be "deconstructing" such an image.

Click on image to see it larger.



I sure would like to see inside this trailer.

Click on image to see it larger.


CAMPING with a wood nymph

If you go out in the woods today be careful of the wood nymphs.

Click on image to see it larger.



I have memories of camping in Yosemite and Sequoia as a child. Somewhere there are old 8mm movies of me in my cowboy boots, flannel lined jeans, and striped t-shirt running amongst the redwoods with a little red headed girl. I have no idea who the little girl was, just someone camped near us who became my friend while we were camping. She’ll never see the old footage of herself jumping up and down from behind a tree stump.

Click on image to see it larger.

These days I still love camping but admit I want to do it from an RV. I can’t sleep on the ground anymore and I like being able to go inside at night and not have to worry about bugs. I’ve got enough bugs here at home; I don’t need more bugs on the road. Plus, and it's a HUGE plus...I like having a bathroom just a few feet away. Get old and you'll understand.

I’m hoping to do some camping later in the year, perhaps by a lake in the Trinity Alps in the fall. That would be nice. Fall colors, warm days, cool nights, and a campfire with the smoke spiraling towards the tree tops into the dark starry sky. Yeah, I’d like to go camping.

Plus, maybe I wouldn't hear so many darn coyotes at night if I went camping.


ERNIE'S family goes camping

Though I still have many Ernie photos stashed away I don’t think I’ll ever find another one at the antique store. That saddens me. I enjoy coming upon new parts of Ernie’s life.

Here is an aspect I had not expected. Ernie and family went camping. This is his wife and young daughter. I’d say the wife was pregnant with child number two, Ernie’s son.

I will occasionally add more photos online to the Ernie collection. To see more from Ernie’s life click on “Ernie” in the labels below.



It really is summer. Sometimes I don't seem to find the time to really enjoy summer. If I get the opportunity to go swimming I can sometimes catch a glimmer of childhood and what it was like to just float without a worry in the world.

The other day while waiting for a medication to be filled at a pharmacy I wandered around wasting time looking at all the junk they had and I came across the toy aisle. It was full of junk from China, but amongst all of it I saw a package of brightly colored plastic boats. It was one of those moments when a spark from the past flickers by. I wanted those little plastic boats. I wanted to sail them down the street gutter following a rain storm. I wanted to put them in the little lake I'd made in my sandbox until the water seeped away leaving them high and dry in the desert. Yes, those stupid little plastic boats reminded me it was summer.

It's that time of year when I should be reading Huckleberry Finn; traveling down the Mississippi watching the lights at night flicker along the shoreline.

I love summer when I remember to enjoy it.



This photo, a cyanotype, has always reminded me of actor Jeff Daniels. There’s a kindness in this fellows face that I see in Daniels.

This is the only cyanotype I have in my collection. It reminds me of long ago when book galleys would arrive from the compositor that were called “blues.” Editorial hated when they arrived because the chemical smell was overwhelming and they were forced to go through each page, line by line, hunting for errors. And the smell did not stay in editorial. It drifted across the divider walls into the art department. Windows would be open no matter what time of year it was.

To explain, when typesetting went from hot metal type to photo-composition things changed. Previously galleys were pulled directly from the hot metal that had been set. When photo-composition came along the galleys, still called galleys though not technically what the original word had meant, were photo processed on light sensitive paper and you ended up with blues. Think of being stuck in a small room with 20 tons of Stainmaster carpet with no venting. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen blues. Don’t miss them at all!

As to Jeff Daniels? I get my fix every Sunday on the new Aaron Sorkin HBO show The Newsroom. Haven't completely made up my mind yet about the show. The dialogue is clever which can be Sorkin's downfall, but it can also be his strength. I'll give the show time. It's just nice to see Daniels.