Just in time, before we're all burned out, the holidays are coming to an end. How soon before Costco again has the aisles full of Barbie dolls and wrapping paper?

Until then, rest my friends, quiet rest.

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Does the little girl in the foreground look familiar? Take a look at these previous posts, here and here.

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I'm happy to finally be able to announce the publication of two more books in the Tattered and Lost series. I would have loved to have announced them before Christmas, but then those that were receiving them as gifts would have lost their surprise.

Volume 1, Tattered and Lost: Vernacular Photographs, which was originally published via Blurb, is now at a larger trim size with more content. You can peruse the volume at Amazon.

Volume 4, Tattered and Lost: Cakes, Picnics, and Watermelon, is a fine example of my "obsession" with silly categories. Wander on over to Amazon and take a look.

Also still available are volume 2, Tattered and Lost: Childhood and volume 3, Tattered and Lost: Telling Stories. Each are available at CreateSpace and Amazon. You'll find links to all four in the column to the left.

Raise Your Hand If You Remember GIVE A SHOW PROJECTOR

I'm guessing it would be hard for a kid today to get excited by a Give a Show Projector, but at one time this was a very sought after toy. Think of it as a bit like a Viewmaster that projected images onto a wall. In the days when kids programming on tv was limited to only a few hours each day, one of these projectors would allow you to watch The Flintstones anytime. Oh sure, it was just a single image projected onto a wall, but seriously, we enjoyed this. I personally never had one of these and I was probably a bit too old for one by the time they were marketed, but that didn't stop me from wanting one.

As you'll see in the image below the projector didn't work so great if the lights were on in the room. That or the kids haven't turned it on yet, or these kids simply were thrilled to stare at a blank wall. Take that X-box!

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all is calm.

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The gift that KEEPS ON GIVING

Todd was so happy with his Christmas gifts of a new fishing pole and gun. He knew his family would never go hungry again.

On the other hand, his brother Tim was trying to not feel hurt that all he got was a string to attach to his belt loop.

Meanwhile, grandma was wondering what was going on in the kitchen and why the daughter-in-law wouldn't let her come and help. She knew the gravy would have lumps.

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The neglected plush TOY SOLDIER

Imagine, abandoned for a plush cow. Oh what will the guys back at the barracks think?

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One little girls SANTA JOURNEY

Santa might look different each year, but basically he's the same ol' jolly guy. In the case of the second Santa I'm thinking maybe he should not get behind the reins of the sleigh for awhile. Sleepy or boozy? You be the judge.

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To see more "Christmas" images visit here and here. More will be posted in the coming week.

Hoping fellow Sepians have a wonderful holiday! Sepia Saturday is a nice little home away from home for the holidays.


Merry Christmas with love FRANK SHLEMMER

Who wouldn't want to receive the annual Christmas photo from Frank? So much better than a boastful Christmas letter. Frank just knuckles down each year and...well...he just knuckles down.

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Merry Christmas right back at you Frank!


LADIES who lunch

An old Polaroid which still has the tear tab which is folded around the back.

Are these the ladies who lunch Sondheim wrote about? Of course not.

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I recently got into a conversation with a dealer at an antique store when she saw me going through a box of vintage snapshots. She wanted to know what I did with them. I always find that an interesting question. For some reason they usually think I must do scrapbooks or collages. I explained that I simply collect them, blog about them, and sometimes produce books that get sold on Amazon. That sort of satisfied her and she nodded and then started to walk away before pausing to say, "Are you looking for something specific?" I've heard this before from sellers hoping to guide me to their booth. I told her "yes and no." I think she'd seen me tearing through the box at a tremendous speed and probably wondered how I could find anything. I told her that when faced with a box of "pose for grandma" shots I sort very fast in hopes of finding something that is out of the ordinary. Again she nodded, paused, then walked away. She never saw that this shot below was one of my finds for the day. Would she have understood me? Probably not.

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So, did he push the first one out of the booth real fast so the second could get in? Was he a photobooth lothario?



I'll admit I'm obsessed with collecting snapshots. I love them. I love that they make me laugh. And I love when I discover a "category" within which to group some shots.

I like to think of categories as an obsession of their own. I've read about people who only collect photos of dogs or maybe shots which show the photographers thumb intruding into the frame. It's because of this that I create categories. I like to think of some poor soul out there only looking for photos of "women in kitchens looking over their shoulders." Their collection will be small, but I'm guessing they'll show it with pride, though no family member will understand and when they pull out the album to show it to friends eyes will roll.

So in the future, when you see a photo like the ones below consider yourself lucky that you found a shot for this obscure category. Don't hold your breath on their being an academic tome released anytime soon.

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This shot was originally published on November 13th.

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This shot was originally published on July 30th. As you can see I'm building an impressive collection of this category. I might die before I get ten of them, but it won't be for not trying. I vow I will never subject visitors to a sit down viewing of them in an album.

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I do have to say I think there might be a sub-category going on here, but only for people in the US who are, let's say...older. I'm thinking I might have stumbled upon a photo of a Charlie Weaver in drag impersonator in the first shot. Maybe it's just me remembering Charlie in the lower left corner of Hollywood Squares, which was a daily fix of absurdity whenever I was home sick from school.

This is my submission for Sepia Saturday. While others present logical posts about family history, I give you strangers cooking. Makes sense to me.


Arms and Legs AWKWARD

The last of the little prints, and this one is odd. An arm and leg looking not quite right.

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The RAY BRADBURY small photobooth shot

As WJY pointed out, these little photobooth shots are in reality more likely small proofs from a professional studio. But Mike Brubaker has decided they're from a Ray Bradbury magic photobooth that took magical pictures. In this case...hmmmm...it's possible these folks aren't even actually from our universe.

Human or terrestrial? You be the judge.

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Is the little fellow on the right called One Pocket Polka Dot Pete?

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Did the woman on the right have a sign outside the photobooth saying, "Will be in your picture for a dollar." Did she spend her days inside the booth allowing people who had no one to have a photo taken with someone? I'm guessing these were taken during the depression so really, who knows?

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Mother and son? Grandma and grandson?

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Mother and daughter? Friends? What's the relationship?

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I recently found ten smaller than usual photobooth shots. They're about 2/3 the size of what we would all be familiar with. This little guy is a charmer.

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Usually you find photos of kids in cowboy outfits pointin' guns at the camera. I do believe this is the first little singin' cowboy I ever found. A subcategory for sure of the "rootin' tootin' gun in your face" category.

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CAUGHT in the doorway

Do their faces say, "Beware! Don't come any closer?" or is this the face they use to say, "Ya'al come on in!" There's no signage to indicate what this place might be, but if you look closely you can see that once you go through these doors there are more doors inside. Worthy of some stories for sure.

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My submission this week for Sepia Saturday with the theme of standing a doorway. To see a couple of young ladies in a doorway of a candy shop click here.


The candy store and COCA-COLA

Imagine my surprise when searching through some negatives to find this image. I've had these negs for years and only went back to them last night while searching for a particular shot. The majority of the negs have never been scanned. Many of the images are already available in an old album bought at the same estate sale as the negs, others are waiting to be discovered.

Now, I'm not saying this is a category, but let's face it, there are people who collect Coca-Cola stuff and I think this would nicely fit that category.

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Oh for the days of the corner candy store and malt shop.

SURPRISE...it's a category

When you have one photo of a woman standing in a kitchen looking over her shoulder it's a snapshot. When you've got two...IT'S A CATEGORY!

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This second shot was originally posted on July 30, 2013. Who knew it would be the beginning of a category?


A MAN and his horn and his...

sombrero and his laundry.

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A big cheer to Sir Thomas Jefferson who is being given the chance to be remembered through this weeks Sepia Saturday.


Another warning about WICKER!

I've tried to use my simple forum to provide a warning most people never think about. I'm talking about children and wicker. Oh sure, I've raised red flags in the past, but does anybody listen or are there still children out there being exposed to wicker on a daily basis?

More proof that you should never leave a child alone with wicker. This child is surely suffering from elation. Breaks your heart, doesn't it?

To see more images of children with wicker check the label below for...I hate to say it because it's heartbreaking..."kids with wicker."

Don't say you haven't been warned. It's a category.


Only the SHADOW KNOWS...it's a category

The category of looming shadows can be fun to collect, especially if the subject is a child. With children looking into the sun, thus the shadow being cast, they often look as if in harms way. They have not yet figured out how to casually look towards the sun and act natural as this lady has done.

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A home has always been a status symbol. It says you're able to provide for yourself and others. It allows a person to put down roots and to lay claim to the idea that they belong somewhere. We've gone through a horrendous period where the status symbol had to be larger than you'd ever need. Who'd have ever thought that a fast food joint would become a term used for a home? McMansions...it even sounds ugly and they generally are. There's a pretentiousness to them that I believe in the past was reserved for the extremely wealthy. Will the tacky neighborhoods comprised of McMansions ever be torn down and replaced with modest and useful homes? Once they're built what the heck do you do with them? Fill them with stuff!

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As a collector of vintage snapshots I'm always interested in the shots of people standing/sitting in front of their homes. They make a statement that they have "arrived." I don't know if people still hire photographers to take posed shots in front of their homes. I'm guessing a lot of people that live in McMansions do have shots like this taken, but now it's done to try and rub their "wealth" in the faces of someone else. We have really come off the rails in this country. If you don't believe me just tune into one of those "Housewives of..." somewhere shows where everything that is tacky is celebrated. McMansions of tacky grandeur filled with equally tacky people. Of course, it's also possible that all of the people shown below were tacky in their own time.

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This is my submission for this week to Sepia Saturday.