Traveling THEATER TROUPE: First Act

I’m going to deconstruct a photo and let you be the final judge if the person who named the group was correct. Think of them as a traveling theater troupe.

Baby Dewie



Cross-dressing is always an interesting category.

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Traveling with Charlie

Traveling with Charlie will be offline for awhile in an attempt to prevent it from being used by some rather pathetic people. I'll keep an eye on the sites stats and open it back up once the neanderthals are gone. This site too may need to be taken down.



Friends of Victor and Ernest? Or just friends?

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Victor and Ernest at the WOODCHOPPER'S BALL

Somewhere in Northern California, many many years ago, there were two fellows, Victor and Ernest, who enjoyed chopping wood. They thought the music by Woody Herman, the Woodchopper's Ball was written about them. They never were able to get their chopping in sync with the tune, but it wasn't for trying.

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Take a step back in time to China in 1926.

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It's interesting how much information the person wrote on the front of the photo. I'm glad they did, otherwise I'd have never known anything about this shot.

Haikou/Haikow, China in 1926 looks nothing like the modern city you can find in images on Google.
The hanzi characters comprising the city's name, 海口, mean ocean/sea and mouth/port, respectively. Thus, the name "Haikou" is also a word for "seaport". Haikou originally served as the port for Qiongshan, the ancient administrative capital of Hainan island, located some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) inland to the south east. During its early history Haikou was a part of Guangdong province. In the 13th century it was fortified and became a military post under the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). The port is located west of the mouth of the Nandu River, Hainan's principal river. When Qiongshan was opened to foreign trade under the Treaty of Tianjin in 1858, Haikou started to rival the old administrative city. In 1926, Haikou overtook Qiongshan in population and it was declared a separate administrative city. Haikou was developed as a port during the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45) when the Japanese invaded and occupied Hainan Island from early 1939 to 1945.

Since 1949, Haikou has maintained its position as Hainan's main port, handling more than half of the island's total trade. It has replaced Qiongshan as the island's administrative capital. In 1988, Haikou was made a prefecture-level city as well as the capital of the newly-created Hainan Province.

Haikou old town contains the oldest buildings in the city and was largely built by wealthy Chinese from the mainland and some overseas Chinese who had returned to their homeland. The houses are a mixture of styles including Portuguese, French, and Southeast Asian. The streets used to be divided into different areas selling Chinese and western medicine, for silk and bespoke clothes, one for fresh fish and meat, and others for the sale of incense, candles, paper, ink, and other goods.

Various projects are currently under discussion to decide the best way to restore and preserve these historical buildings. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)



This post will be completely off-topic. I won’t be talking about vintage snapshots, though what I’m going to discuss has a certain ephemeral quality to it.

I’m going to ask you a question I’d like you to ponder.

How would you like a future where the software you use on your computer is rented from month to month? You no longer purchase and install the software, deciding down the line if you want to upgrade when it’s convenient and affordable for you. Instead, along with your monthly utility bills, mortgage/rent payment, insurance, car expense bills, etc., you have to add in rental of computer software. Imagine all the software you use has a monthly fee you must pay. If you miss a payment or decide to stop paying you will no longer be able to open the native files you created in the software. And the actual software on your computer will cease working even though the price you have paid over a series of years is now much more than if you’d been able to actually buy the product. They promise amazing upgrades, though you know that is unlikely. And you’ll be paying for software you don’t even want simply because if you want and need certain software you have to pay for all of it.

The manufacturer promises you that it will be a set fee per month if you sign up for a year. They don’t promise that the next year the cost won’t go up 50% or even 120% or more. You’ll simply never know what it will cost from year to year. You will be at the mercy of the monopoly that manufacturers your software. And by paying for eternity you’ll have paid far far more than if you’d been able to buy it. But hey, the CEO of the company can now plan ahead about that sailing yacht he was thinking about buying.

Imagine all software being rental only. Your web browser for $25 a month. Your Office package for $45 a month. Your operating system for $75 a month. Games? Maybe $15 for low end games, but high games could be $80 a month. With prices like this you’d be paying out $2700 a year to software companies. Does this sound crazy?

Welcome to the world today, not the world of tomorrow. Adobe has decided that from now on they will not sell any new high end software such as Photoshop and InDesign. If you wish to use their newest software you must pay them a rental fee of $50 a month with a year contract. They call it Creative Cloud. They want all customers to be indentured customers for eternity. Well, you can cancel the service, but then you can’t open any of the work you created because they shut your software down. And they want you to store your work on their servers. What’s wrong with this picture? Do you want a software company to be part of your team? Do you want to be a part of theirs? Or do you just want to buy the software from the manufacturer, install it, and be left alone by the corporation. You certainly don’t want the corporation being able to spy on your usage of their product since you must have a net connection when you rent it. The contract will be very intrusive leaving the end user with no rights. It’s all in the fine print.

This is here and now. This isn’t the future. And if Adobe isn’t stopped you can bet that more and more companies will consider doing this. The floodgates of renting software are about to open. As consumers we won’t be able to stop it if Adobe gets away with this.

Think of this as my public service announcement. This has been a warning, only a warning, unless you use Adobe products, then it’s reality. The other software companies are waiting in the wings hoping to jump on this bandwagon.

If you're easily offended don't watch the video.



With this weeks Sepia Saturday showing budding scientists and/or inventors, I had to find an image showing what can happen when you set out to solve a problem. Remember, "Necessity, who is the mother of invention."

I give you...THE CAR. One of a kind. No other models rolled off the assembly line. A classic for sure.

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The dog sure liked it, but then dogs just love going for rides in anything. I think a dogs greatest sorrow is that they can't drive.


SUN BONNET sweetheart

To those familiar with my book Tattered and Lost: Childhood this little girl may seem familiar. Yes, it's the same little girl in a sun bonnet that appears on the cover, but a little younger. I have to wonder for how many years did she wear this bonnet?

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I have other images of little girls in this style of bonnet. I wonder if there is an historical significance to its popularity. They really do look like sun rays, but I'm guessing they weren't followers of the Sun God Ra of Egypt. Then again, you just never know.



When I see little girls with the hairdo on the right I have certain visceral reactions.

First...the pain. The physical pain involved to get the hair to do this.

Secondly...I'm already convinced she herself was a pain. Maybe it's too many old movies, but when little girls had this hairdo, if they weren't Shirley Temple, they were bad. Bad to the core. They broke things. They connived against anyone they thought crossed them. By the end of the movie they'd had their comeuppance and were now on the straight and narrow, even if their hair wasn't.


OBJECTS MAY BE LARGER under magnifying glass

"These show up better under a magnifying glass."

Oh yeah, so much better. So glad I scanned it to see their joy. So worth the 50 cents.


Spitting in a BARBERSHOP

Why do men spit so much? What is it in their nature that creates the need to just lob one into the atmosphere? Sports figures, especially in baseball and football, are notorious for spitting. Each season as I watch football games and see players and coaches on the sidelines spitting I scream at the TV, “What’s wrong with you people?” I then immediately check to see if they’re playing on astroturf. Imagine being the poor underpaid soul who has to clean up the sidelines after a game. Now I know in baseball that a lot of the time they’re spitting tobacco. No excuse. Chew after the game. But at least they’re spitting on real dirt and grass. It will eventually dry up and disappear; not so on astroturf.

Spittoons were invented as receptacle for spit. Tobacco can be blamed for part of this. My maternal grandfather chewed tobacco and had coffee cans all over the house in which he spit. You didn’t want to be in the backseat of the car sitting behind him when he was driving if you both had your windows down. The side of his car…a brown streaked mess. But he’d been told by his doctor he needed to stop smoking and that chewing was an alternative. It was disgusting and my poor grandmother had a furrowed brow whenever you mentioned the cans.

Sepia Saturday this week features tobacco as its theme. I give you three men in a barbershop with a spittoon, the link to tobacco.

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I found the following historical information on Wikipedia which will help to put the photo in context.
The era of the common spittoon in the United States

In the late 19th century United States and Australia spittoons became a very common feature of pubs, brothels, saloons, hotels, stores, banks, railway carriages, and other places where people (especially adult men) gathered.

Brass was the most common material for spitoons. Other materials used for mass production of spittoons ranged from basic functional iron to elaborately crafted cut glass and fine porcelain. At higher class places like expensive hotels, spittoons could be elaborately decorated.

Spittoons are flat-bottomed, often weighted to minimize tipping over, and often with an interior "lip" to make spilling less likely if they tip. Some have lids, but this is rare. Some have holes, sometimes with a plug, to aid in draining and cleaning.

Use of spittoons was considered an advance of public manners and health, intended to replace previously common spitting on floors, streets, and sidewalks. Many places passed laws against spitting in public other than into a spittoon.

Boy Scout troops organized campaigns to paint "Do not Spit on the Sidewalk" notices on city sidewalks. In 1909 in Cincinnati, Ohio, scout troops together with members of the Anti-Tuberculosis League painted thousands of such messages in a single night.

A mass-produced sign seen in saloons read:

If you expect to rate as a gentlemanDo not expectorate on the floor

Spittoons were also useful for people suffering from tuberculosis who would cough up phlegm. Public spittoons would sometimes contain a solution of an antiseptic such as carbolic acid with the aim of limiting transmission of disease. With the start of the 20th century medical doctors urged tuberculosis sufferers to use personal pocket spittoons instead of public ones; these were jars with tight lids which people could carry with them to spit into. Similar devices are still used by some with tuberculosis.

After the 1918 flu epidemic, both hygiene and etiquette advocates began to disparage public use of the spittoon, and use began to decline. Chewing gum replaced tobacco as the favorite chew of the younger generation. Cigarettes were considered more hygienic than spit-inducing chewing tobacco. While it was still not unusual to see spittoons in some public places in parts of the US as late as the 1930s, vast numbers of old brass spittoons met their ends in the scrap drives of World War II. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
I really wish I’d been able to find out some information about the company that made the sign above the spittoon. Alas, all I can tell you is that it was the Bonheur Company, located in Syracuse, New York. They were a perfumer.

The following is all I found about the company. It is from The American Perfumer and Essential Oil Review, Volume 16; March, 1921—February, 1922.

Just imagine what this post would have been like if I'd focused on perfume instead of spit. Then again..."Budda" Oriental Odor doesn't really make it sound so great.


The LOST "ART" of Double Exposures: George and Martha with Guests

My best friend submitted this one. President George Washington with his wife Martha...and some serious party people.

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