The FIREMEN and the DOG

Looking at this week's Sepia Saturday prompt had me scratching my head until I went to an estate sale today. The sale had started yesterday so I didn't have much hope that anything interesting—in my mind—would be there on the second day. I smiled when I found a frame in the garage in a box of junk that contained four interesting photos. This was the one that most caught my eye and I knew immediately I had my contribution for this week.

When I looked at this week's prompt my first thought was a lantern and smoke. Seriously, the dog was the second thing I noticed. I'm easily distracted by my own thoughts. Where there's smoke there's fire. So I give you firemen from long ago with their fire house dog. Think of him as a dalmatian with really big dark spots.

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I have no idea where this shot was taken. There are a lot of towns named Hastings so I'm clueless as to where this might have been taken. 

As to the wild beast in the darkness behind them. Looks like some sort of weird insect monster. Nah, just the fire wagon waiting for the horses to be attached and the race to the next fire.

Now, I want to apologize to my fellow Sepians for something that happened several weeks ago. I visited all the sites for those who had posted for Sepia Saturday 371. I left messages and went on my way. Later that night I discovered only two of my messages actually posted. I've had this happen many times and it's frustrating. Often I have gone back and tried to remember what I'd said so I could comment again. This time I didn't. I have no idea why this happens and I hate that I end up looking like a deadbeat who doesn't participate. I'm sorry. Hopefully this time I'll get through without incident. I'm wondering if anyone else has this happen. 


Once upon a time there was A BOXER NAMED MARCUS VASQUEZ

This is a repost from several years ago that most won't have seen. In keeping with the man with the box for Sepia Saturday I give you boxer Marcus Vasquez. All I ever found about him is below.

You'd think that starting with "Once upon a time..." I'd have a fairytale to tell. No, just an old picture of a lightweight boxer named Marcus Vasquez wearing an apron. Seriously, I have no idea what is going on or how this photo eventually ended up in my hands.

"To a Swell Kid Marcus Vasquez.
From your manager Ben Marcus"

Marcus Vasquez appears to have fought his first professional bout on Dec. 21, 1948 against Cadilla Clemmons at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. He won the fight. From then on he fought around Southern California, up to San Jose on March 22, 1949, over to Arizona for several fights, even down to Chihuahua, Mexico on Feb. 8, 1950; he lost that fight to Al Lopez.

According to the online information I've found, Marcus had 17 wins, 19 losses, and 7 draws with a total of 197 rounds fought. The last fight listed was on July 7, 1952 to Maxie Docusen in San Antonio, Texas. Marcus lost and is listed as TKO.

So, was this the end of Marcus Vasquez as a fighter? I cannot find any other information about him.

As to the fellow on the left, his manager, Ben Marcus, I cannot find anything about him other than he worked in the Los Angeles area.

I don't know, but my mind spins when I look at this shot with the inscription and I'm sucked into the world of Raymond Chandler and this little scrap of paper is evidence in a murder. I can't say truthfully anything one way or the other. It is what it is and it will forever be a mystery unless some person with knowledge of the world of boxing in Los Angeles in the late '40s to early '50s steps forward to fill in the missing pieces to the story.

For now, I'm riding in my old Buick on a warm summer night along Sunset, hoping I can run a few red lights without getting caught as I try to make my way to a mysterious meeting in Los Feliz. It began with this photo stuffed inside my morning paper with a note that read, "9:40, Jerry's, Los Feliz. Come alone."

UPDATE: I found this image for sale online at a boxing memorabilia site. This shows that Marcus was in an undercard fight on September 9, 1949 at the Hollywood Legion Stadium.


I looked up "undercard" and found the following:
The undercard, or preliminary matches (sometimes preliminary card), consists of preliminary bouts that occur before the headline or "main event" of a particular boxing, professional wrestling, horse racing, auto racing, or other sports event. (In auto racing, however, the term "support race" occurs more commonly.) Typically, promoters intend the undercard to provide fans with an opportunity to see up-and-coming fighters or fighters not so well known and popular as their counterparts in the main event. The undercard also ensures that if the main event ends quickly fans will still feel that they received sufficient value for the price of their admission. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Marcus, I fear, is lost to history other than this post.


The UNKNOWN Couple

Found this a few weeks ago in a dollar bin. It's very damaged so I ran a filter to "fix" it enough to view because I want you all to decide if it's a man or a woman on the right. Both have rouge on their cheeks thanks to someone thinking that was necessary. And actually, without the fix of the shot the details aren't as easy to see.

So two guys hanging around or a guy and a gal? I'm thinking they headed west to seek their fortune and found Northern California to their liking. How they ended up in a dollar bin is a whole other story.

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With this week's Sepia Saturday as a prompt I'm reminded of one of my favorite photos from my book Tattered and Lost: The Quiet Art of Reading. I have no information about this woman who long ago chose to sit at the base of this tree and read, but I understand the lure.

In the summer I like to sit in the shade, hear a light breeze rustling the leaves, and enjoy reading outside. Of course I usually fall asleep.

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