They might not be wearing black socks with brown shoes, shorts, and an Aloha shirt, but these tourists from the 1930s look just as awkward. Wouldn't you like to know what they bought while on their island adventure? Did they take home any colorful clothing? I'm guessing they didn't. They look uncomfortable. How did they handle the humidity of the islands dressed like this each day?

Click on image to see it larger.

Did these folks trot from location to location thinking rude thoughts about the locals? I'm betting many did. The world of Hawaii was exotic and probably pretty scary to them. They went on guided tours and their mingling with locals was probably limited. It's a shame because the best part of traveling is mixing with the locals and getting a feeling for the place.

I would like to see the footage the tall man with the movie camera shot. I wonder if it still exists? What a treasure it would be to see the islands back then.

Now, take a look at this old post for three tour guides dressed very similar to the guide in this shot.

Let's hope these folks had a really great and memorable trip. And let us hope that when they returned home they often imagined the trade winds caressing their skin, the scent of ginger taking them to heaven, and warm sand between their toes. Of course, that would be if they ever actually took their sensible shoes off and walked in the sand.



I have a mystery I need help solving. It might take a very long time.

I recently purchased this photo along with several of people who had gone to Hawaii in the 1930s. This one also has Hawaii written on the back, though with different penmanship. I know this is not one of the big two Matson hotel resorts that were in Waikiki in the 1930s. In fact, I'm not convinced this is in Hawaii. It certainly isn't Waikiki. I just haven't a clue.

Anyone have any ideas? Perhaps Florida? Cuba? South America? Still standing? Long ago demolished? It's the mystery hotel.

Click on either image to see them larger.

UPDATE:  Well, I figured I'd eventually hear from someone with information about this place, but I never dreamt it would be the same day I posted it. Thank you Daniel!

A man by the name of Milo Milton Potter built this hotel in Santa Barbara which opened in 1903. It was called the Hotel Potter. The following extracts are from edhat.com, written by Neal Graffy who seems to have written the best historical post about this place. Make sure to check out the post for the complete history and more images, including interiors.
For his Santa Barbara endeavor, the timing was perfect. In March 1901 the missing link of the Southern Pacific's coastal railway—Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo—was finally completed. At last, trains came through Santa Barbara on their way to and from Los Angeles and San Francisco. Potter knew Santa Barbara was a golden opportunity for a seaside resort.

Potter was a magnificent self-promoter. He bought Burtons Mound in December 1901 and according to the newspapers, within thirty days of purchase had held a contest for plans, chosen an architect and engineered the grading of the mound. In reality, Potter had been sniffing around Santa Barbara in early 1900 and Burton's Mound was the obvious choice. More than likely everything was planned and ready when Potter made the purchase. The perceived Potter whirlwind made great headlines and free nationwide publicity for the "new resort hotel for Santa Barbara."

As promised, the hotel opened exactly one year later on January 19, 1903. "Anyone who was anyone was there" and according to one report "there was more money at the Potter that day than there was in Fort Knox." In typical Potter fashion, the hotel, which was supposed to cost $500,000, remarkably and with great publicity all the way, grew to a $1,100,000 hotel and greatly expanding in size as well. (SOURCE: Neal Graffy)
Sadly, the hotel burned down in 1921.
On April 13, 1921 the hotel caught fire. The 110 guests were safely evacuated as fire crews arrived from Santa Barbara and Montecito. Pushed by winds gusting from fifty to eighty miles per hour the fire spread quickly and fiercely, burning the hotel to the ground within three hours. Faulty wiring was found to be the cause. (SOURCE: Neal Graffy)
I wrote to Neal Graffy about his piece and he sent along the following about the photo I have:
As for the photo, it is indeed an unusual view and it was taken from Stearns Wharf, a structure dating to 1872 and still with us today. You can come close to seeing this view today by using Google Earth Street View from Stearns Wharf (foot of State Street) heading up the wharf to where you are past the sand and over the ocean and then looking to the west.
Currently there is an old brochure of the Hotel Potter available on ebay.


SMILE for Grandma

Eventually kids figure out what they're supposed to do when a camera is pointed at them. At least the way it used to be. These days everyone is pointing cameras at each other whether or not they know the person. And then the moments of your life end up online with others ridiculing something you did only hours before. We all risk being bullied these days simply by leaving the house. A photograph is no longer just for grandma.

Click on image to see it larger.

Loving the kids sweater. So when did the whole coal miner theme stop appearing on apparel?



Choosing to have a family photo taken with a child can lead to all sorts of interesting outcomes. Generally the child is going to be the most alive and interesting person in the photo because they still aren't sure what it's all about. These are basically "smile for grandma" shots.

The Sepia Saturday prompt this week is a family portrait of three people. So I give you three portraits, each containing three people. All of these photos were given to me by my friend Bert and one of the photos was originally posted on November 16, 2010. The first two shots are from the George Kallman estate.

I have no information on any of these people.

Click on any image to see it larger.



Tossed aside, not wanted anymore, this photo is the epitome of Tattered and Lost.


ROCKING HORSE all night long

Did you have a rocking horse as a child? I know I had one because there is a photo of me sitting on it grasping the reins with one hand, one hand thrown over my shoulder as if riding a bronco, a paper crown on my head (part of a birthday card which I still have), and a big smile. I don’t know what ever became of that horse. I don’t even remember it. I do have memories of the spring loaded monsters that you bounced and rocked on. If you got going really good on one of those you could turn it into a ride that had your parents saying, “Slow down! Slow down!” I remember doing this, but I don’t know if I had one of these horses or if I just went nuts on a neighbors horse. If you were to put one of those horses in front of me today I’d probably do the same thing only now I’d be saying to myself in that little voice that fears falling, “Slow down you stupid old woman!”

And if this little fellow looks familiar it's because he's from the Three Buck Big Box of Photos.

Click on image to see it larger.


WONDER BREAD, CIGARETTES, and high sugar cereal

Welcome to a childhood in the 1950s and part of the '60s. Wonder Bread, cigarettes with matches, high sugar content cereal, and formica/metal dinette set.

Wonder Bread was only good for one thing...smashing into a flat piece of doughy bread. You'd chew the crust off then start smashing it with your fingers until it was nice and flat. Then you'd fold it and smash some more. Fold and repeat. It would get so small and doughy, but never stick to your fingers. If you were a gourmet you'd spread butter on this weird blob. I usually just gobbled it down and grabbed another piece to smash. Other than that, it was a pretty dreadful bread. I always wondered how they got that much air in bread. My mother tried to get me to switch to cracked wheat, but it was a no go. Wonder Bread with PBJ in my red plaid lunch box.

Click on image to see it larger.

Another image from the Three Buck Big Box of Photos. You can see other images of this child through the years by clicking on the label below.


I've heard of TURTLE CANDY and TURTLE SOUP, but...

I've never heard of a turtle cake. I do wonder how this came about. Did the family have a pet turtle that was being celebrated? Did it come to the party? Is there a photo somewhere of it wearing a party hat and noise maker?

I had a friend that had a pet tortoise. He was very large and would often disappear for weeks at a time. He would somehow make it across the road, through a neighbor's yard, and apparently down to the creek. Most likely the creek was his vacation time. The rest of the time he spent walking from one side of my friend's backyard to the other. I was never really sure why they had a tortoise, but I felt sorry for him. Suburbia did not seem to suit him. Eventually they moved away. I'm assuming the tortoise went with them.

I also recall a friend having a tiny turtle that lived in one of those horrible plastic dishes with the plastic palm tree in the middle; a pointless tree if ever there was one. I felt really really sorry for that little creature. The boredom of that plastic dish with the tree that provided no shade must have been unbearable. It didn't last long; how could it? I imagine these wee creatures are still sold today and somewhere a kid has a plastic dish with a plastic tree with a bored out of its mind turtle in the middle.

This photo comes from the Three Buck Big Box of Photos which has been an inspiration for many years.

And if you're in a cake sort of mood (and frankly who isn't?) take a look at the great site called Cake Wrecks. Think of it as the Awkward Family Photo site for cakes. You'll be amazed by how truly ugly some of the cakes are that are made by commercial bakers (Safeway for one). The site also includes the polar opposite with some of the most beautiful cakes you've ever seen. I keep the site bookmarked so when I'm in need of a snarky giggle I know immediately where to go.

This entire post was inspired by this weeks Sepia Saturday post.



ERNIE'S FAMILY in the snow

It's been quite awhile since I posted any photos from my secret passion...Ernie. I still have some photos of Ernie to post and they will trickle in, but once they're gone.... I have not found any new Ernie snapshots in a long time. I have bought up most of what I found of his daughter. 

Today I give you Ernie's family in the snow in their neighborhood; they lived in a trailer. Other than saying they lived in a trailer I know nothing of their living situation.

Click on image to see it larger.

I do have to say I once saw a guy on Pawn Stars that could have passed for an old Ernie. It had me wondering and I kept it on my DVR for quite awhile. Eventually I accidentally deleted it. Still, I like to think of Ernie spending his later years someplace warm.


KIDS WITH WICKER: The Subcategory

I introduce you to KIDS WITH WICKER, the subcategory. As you can see this young lady is not with wicker. She is near a basket that is just an ordinary splint basket. In fact, I'm not sure she was even supposed to be in the shot. I'm thinking the photographer wanted a shot of the basket and the tree and this young tyke came skipping along and jumped into the frame and said, "What you doin' mister?"

Click on image to see it larger.

So what to do? It doesn't fit neatly into my category. Where oh where will I file it. (And don't think for a minute I actually have a logical method for filing anything.)
Kids with Wicker
Subcategory: It's something woven which isn't wicker, but they could have used wicker if they'd  known about my category.
I've got a feeling this subcategory is going to really take off! Sooner or later someone is going to do a search for my succinct description. It's just a matter of time.


The MAGNETIC PULL of wicker

One wouldn't think that wicker was the least bit magnetic, but here we have this poor child struggling with all her might to extricate herself from this black hole of magnetic wicker. Believe it or not.

Click on image to see it larger.

And for another mysterious question visit The DARK SIDE of Charlie. Warning: not for the weak of heart or easily frightened. I will not be held responsible for any nightmares that may be caused by viewing the extraordinary image of...The DARK SIDE of Charlie.



Don't you like the idea that there's someone out there buying up all the kids with wicker shots they can find hoping to control the market?

Click on image to see it larger.



How fortuitous that Alan chose snow for this weekends Sepia Saturday. Does he have some sort of meteorological skill he has not yet shared with us?

My sympathy to those on the East Coast of the United States being buried under snow. I hate to say it, but as a Californian, I do long for a good snowstorm. I used to get my snowstorm fix in the Sierra's when I could often stupidly be found driving over Donner Pass at night during a snowstorm after going out to dinner in Truckee. I was young and incredibly stupid; I will admit that now. At the time all the good looking ski bums were just too hard to resist.

So let's hope the East Coast is soon snow free and not forced to spend days doing as dear Geoffrey is doing.



The category continues to grow!

Click on image to see it larger.

And folks, don't forget to tell people you dislike about Traveling with Charlie. It continues to be the most boring stop on the net. In the past few weeks we've seen Charlie sit in a chair covered in muu muu fabric, visit the mysterious Fort Davis Triangle, and interact with wildlife. I can feel the momentum building towards a really really big yawn.


New category... KIDS WITH WICKER!

You know how much I love categories, the stranger the better. Well, I give you "Kids with Wicker!"

I'm sure you have some in your collection. Don't hide them anymore! Show them with pride! You've got a kid with wicker and they aren't going to stay in the shadows anymore!...unless the shot was taken in the shadows.

Click on image to see it larger.

And just think, someday someone is going to do a search for "Kids with Wicker!" and they're going to know they aren't alone; there are others out there that appreciate the wonder of kids with wicker. Of course if they leave out the exclamation point I have no idea where they'll end up. They're on their own.


And kids today think BACKPACKS ARE HEAVY

This photo is in an album from the George Kallman collection. I have no information as to who the people are or where it was shot.

Click on image to see it larger.

Imagine carrying your sibling around all day while wearing getas? A backpack might not sound so bad.



I have no idea what year this was taken, but it comes from the same Ukiah album that had the photo of the kindergarten children from a few days ago.

I have to feel sorry for this lad, no matter where he lived. It is possible he lived in Canada where many of the album photos are from. If it was taken in the rough and tumble agricultural community of Ukiah...let's hope by the time he was in school his mother had stopped dressing him like Little Lord Fauntleroy. I will admit he seems to be workin' the runway.

Click on image to see it larger.
Little Lord Fauntleroy is the first children's novel written by English playwright and author Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was originally published as a serial in the St. Nicholas Magazine between November 1885 and October 1886, then as a book by Scribner's in 1886. The accompanying illustrations by Reginald Birch set fashion trends and Little Lord Fauntleroy also set a precedent in copyright law when in 1888 its author won a lawsuit against E. V. Seebohm over the rights to theatrical adaptations of the work.
The Fauntleroy suit, so well-described by Burnett and realized in Reginald Birch's detailed pen-and-ink drawings, created a fad for formal dress for American middle-class children:
"What the Earl saw was a graceful, childish figure in a black velvet suit, with a lace collar, and with lovelocks waving about the handsome, manly little face, whose eyes met his with a look of innocent good-fellowship." (Little Lord Fauntleroy)
The Fauntleroy suit appeared in Europe as well, but nowhere was it as popular as in America. The classic Fauntleroy suit was a velvet cut-away jacket and matching knee pants worn with a fancy blouse with a large lace or ruffled collar. These suits appear right after the publication of Mrs. Burnett's story (1885) and were a major fashion until after the turn of the 20th century. Many boys who did not wear an actual Fauntleroy suit wore suits with Fauntleroy elements such as a fancy blouse or floppy bow. Only a minority of boys wore ringlet curls with these suits, but the photographic record confirms that many boys did. It was most popular for boys about 3–8 years of age, but some older boys wore them as well. It has been speculated that the popularity of the style encouraged many mothers to breech their boys earlier than before and was a factor in the decline of the fashion of dressing small boys in dresses and other skirted garments. Clothing Burnett popularized was modeled on the costumes she tailored herself for her two sons, Vivian and Lionel. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)



The only reason I bought this old tattered snapshot is because of the black radio in the background. It's a Zenith Trans-Oceanic and looks very much like the one I have sitting in my garage. I cannot remember a time in my life when my family did not own this radio.

Click on image to see it larger.

My dad purchased one, probably at the base Exchange, before we moved to Midway Island in the early 1950s. This radio was our connection to the world. I remember listening to this radio over the next several decades and it had me hooked listening to shortwave broadcasts and radio broadcasts from elsewhere in the world.

We also had a Hallicrafter that I remember listening to late at night at the cabin. I still remember the broadcasts from North Vietnam during the Vietnam war.

Sadly neither of the radios work anymore. Both require tubes and I have no idea where to find those or if they're even available anymore. But I won't toss them. I love the look of each of them and the fond memories they bring back.

To see more about old radios visit my post today at Tattered and Lost Ephemera.

And currently bandwidth issues prevent me from participating again in Sepia Saturday. I hope to be back soon.