12/17/14

SANTA BABY


Oh Santa, what a horrible makeup job you have. Or did you meet an unruly elf in an alley that really really didn't like you?


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12/15/14

A little TO THE LEFT


Do you put the star on first or last?


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12/14/14

Uncle Harry LOVED TO HAVE HIS PICTURE TAKEN


How disappointed were these people when they got the shot back from the drugstore? Or maybe this was something Uncle Harry always did; it was his signature for all of his photos. Harry always hated not being in the shots until he figured out a way to do it. The women knew Harry was a bit odd and were willing to play along to make him happy and keep peace in the family. The teenage daughter wasn't willing to cut Uncle Harry any slack. She knew he was nuts and thought his loud ties were the worst. But he was her only uncle so she'd tolerate these once a year photo shoots. It was only when Harry brought out his photo albums that she finally said, "That's it! I'm going to the movies with the gang."


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To see a couple other shots of this young girl click here and here.
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12/10/14

Taking the train for some MEXICALI BEER


I'm not even sure where I bought this snapshot which shows, I'm guessing, some American folk in Mexico for a little Mexicali Beer. The one sign says "Cantina Pullman Buffet" so I presume a day trip to Mexico by train was common.


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If we get the kind of rain in the next 24 hours that's been predicted I might not need a train to get to Mexico. I might be able to just step out my front door and float there. I'm not complaining. I'm loving the rain. I'm even loving watching my yard become its own little flood zone.

UPDATE: Here's a link to a postcard which puts this photo into perspective showing the surrounding area. Thank you Intense Guy!

http://thebarefootphotographer.blogspot.com/2010/02/from-barefoot-files.html
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12/7/14

The MYSTERY WOMAN at Morgan Park, Chicago in 1897


There's something familiar about this woman, but I can't put my finger on it. I keep thinking she's a time-traveling-celebrity, but which one?




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At some point this woman visited Morgan Park in Chicago. Morgan Park has quite a history. That's all I know about this vintage snapshot.


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12/3/14

NORVELINE at Wallace High in 1947-48


This beautiful little girl was named Normeline, at least that's how I interpret what is on the back of the photo. However, WJY from The New Found Photography has said it's probably Norveline, so I have changed the name in the title. (You can see WJY's comment below in the update and as a standalone comment.) She was ten years old when this shot was taken. I did a search of Wallace High and got mostly schools in Scotland and England. This looks more like a US school photo so I'm guessing it has to be a school stateside, but where?





When you think of a school photo, I believe, you can't help but think back to when you had your own school photos taken. Your mother usually dressed you nice for the occasion and there was a lot of pressure to stay clean, not rumpled, for this oh so precious shot. Then you'd stand in line waiting your turn to be called forward for your moment of dread. Who was that person taking your picture? You'd never seen them before. You'd never see them again. You couldn't really see them at all because of the bright light. And then this stranger in the darkness is telling you to smile. What if you didn't want to smile? Then "poof" there was a quick flash and you were told to move on. You hoped your mom would be proud when she saw the shot.

School photos are about the same size as a photobooth shot, but the circumstances couldn't be less similar. The photobooth has the opportunity to take a "real" photo of you, or at least the you you want to project. A school photo is sort of like a mug shot.

UPDATE: from WJY:
Try Norveline, pronounced, and sometimes spelled, Norvelyn. It's the feminine version of Norvill, often shortened to Norv, like the football coach, Norv Turner.

As far as a sixth grader in high school, that's easy to explain. In the Jim Crow south, it was illegal for blacks and whites to attend the same school. It was fairly common for all the black kids to be crammed into a single, first through twelfth grade building. Some of these schools only had a few class rooms, so, a forth grader and a tenth grader might end up in the same English class.

Interesting fact. Public education in the pre-Civil War south was more of an exception than a rule. It wasn't until reconstruction, when southern state and local governments were dominated by freed slaves, that primary and secondary education became free and compulsory for all children. So, if you're a white kid in modern day Alabama, you have former slaves to thank for having an education.
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12/1/14

Sweet ADOLESCENCE


There's something in the tilt of her head, the look in her eyes, that is older than her years. A beautiful girl from long ago alone in a photobooth. It would be so nice to see the other shots in the series to see if she looked more like a child. I have no information about her.


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11/30/14

CASTING CALL!


Open casting call for man to play time traveler. Must be willing to relocate. Ideal candidate will have an easy manner, how should I say...a je ne said quoi. Good sense of humor a plus. Ability to make small talk and love of jazz required. Historical clothes will be provided, though we'd suggest bringing your own undies if you do not wish to wear authentic undergarments of time period. No pay, but will provide references upon completion. Travel stipend will be provided. Good luck. 

Any suggestions as to who we should cast for this part?


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