TRANSLATION, s'il vous plaît

I don't speak French. I took German in high school. I was forced to take Spanish in junior high. I don't speak either language. I'm not sure it's the education system that is at fault or the way my brain is wired. I can pretend to speak different languages, I can mimic the sounds, but when it comes down to learning the actual languages it becomes too similar to trying to do math. I am not wired for math. I am not wired for anything where a specific answer is required. I like options.

My option for this week's Sepia Saturday is way off topic. I don't collect photos of hotels (this week's theme), but I do have a lot of posts on my ephemera site dedicated to old hotels and motels. A couple of examples of old San Francisco hotels are here and here.

Instead I'm going to do a bit of crowdsourcing because I know Sepians are a very diverse group and there is certainly at least one who can speak French.

This image was purchased many years ago in Eureka, California. I will always wonder the route this portrait took to get there.

Click on image to see it larger.

It's a fascinating shot of children far too close in age. The mother was just popping these little infants out one after another. Was her name Boulangerie?

So, getting down to the requested facts…what does it say on the back?

Click on image to see it larger.

Though what I have is very old, it is not the original print. The reason I know this is because of the boy in the upper right corner. If you take a look you'll notice that someone did a bit of photo shop-erie with another print, a knife, and some glue. That little boy was in the original shot, but for some reason a replacement of him was put on top. So somewhere there was an original with the cut and paste job and what I have is a shot of the shot.

So let us ponder why this little boy was such a problem. Perhaps he shut his eyes just as the shutter closed and the photographer, not wishing to bring the wrath of Boulangerie down on his head, said, "Madame, I will fix it immédiatement! No charge…of course."

What other options could have caused this photography disaster? Imagine how the photographer of today would say, "Don't worry your little head. I will have this fixed in a peu de moments" then run off to his laptop.

I am hoping someone will fill in the pieces provided on the back of this photograph from 1884.

And in advance I say merci.

UPDATE: Thank you Linda for the translation:
...the message says: loving remembrance (or amicable memory) to the friends (if it says "ses"), or "his" friends (if it says "les").

UPDATE: From Brett:
Affectionate memories to his friends
Germain Deseudi
Mezin le 9 8th 1884
Mezin is a small village in south-western France (Aquitaine). The photograph looks to me as though it could have come from there. 


The FASHIONABLE YOUNG LADY in Ohio with Grandma?

The last shot in this series. We will not be seeing anymore shots of this young lady unless I discover a shot of her later in life that so far has gone right by me. I do adore her. She is worthy of a finely drawn character in a book.

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The FASHIONABLE YOUNG LADY in Ohio with friend

A relative? A friend? Another member of the Bow Club for Girls?

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Did she love to dance? Was she graceful or awkward? Did she have a sly sense of humor or a mean streak? Was she often told she was lovely? Did she believe it?

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I adore this girl. I have four photos of her in Donald G. Schnabel's family photos from Ohio. Each of the photos is a RPPC; no information is written on the back of any of them. She is one of those mysteries that will not be solved. I do so wish I knew what she looked like as she matured. What became of her? What was her place in history?

I love her shoes.

Click on image to see it larger.


CONCENTRATION with every move and every step

I first posted this snapshot in 2008. In my attempt to participate in this week's Sepia Saturday I was racking my brain for an image that might fit the theme. Then the lightbulb went off and I remembered this one. Now I find I already posted it once before for Sepia Saturday. Apparently my lightbulbs are a bit old.

The man on the left is Mr. Roberts who was a member of the US Coast Guard in the 1930s. Click on the label "Mr. Roberts" to see other photos of him. No idea who the fellow on the right might be.

What really comes home to me right now about this shot is the stare on Mr. Roberts face. Since yesterday I've had the same stare, but not for the same reason.

My doctor finally said my ankle has healed enough to stop wearing the damanable boot all the time. While I'm at home I can use a lightweight fabric brace and a sturdy shoe. I just need to wear the boot when I go anywhere. Now, I thought "YES! I'm free of the boot!" Rushed home and took the boot off and for the first time since March 17th I stood freely on my left foot. I was not prepared for what followed. I imagined it would feel awkward to suddenly put pressure on my leg since the muscles have wasted away these past months. I knew that would happen, add in the fear of falling and rebreaking it, and you have the sensation of confusion I've been dealing with. But I wasn't prepared for the nausea. It's not nausea caused by pain, more of an equilibrium thing. I just know I feel dizzy when I'm vertical and find I tire out easily. My steps are very cautious and I know I'll be relying on my cane for the foreseeable future. I'm left thinking about the Bill Murray film "What About Bob" with the saying "baby steps." I'm now taking baby steps. It is my new mantra.


LADIES of the kitchen

This is not the first time I've featured my category: over the shoulder in the kitchen shots. In fact one of them was a Sepia Saturday post in December of 2013. So it is quite fortuitous that I have a new shot to add to my collection right as Sepia Saturday has a woman doing some pie making as the theme.

I think these two could use some nice captions. Any suggestions?

Click on image to see it larger.

I'm especially worried about the whip cream on this pie. If it looks this bad now what did it look like an hour later? I think the snoopy lady on the left shares my concern. I'm guessing the gentleman is worried about his stomach later that night, but won't get involved in the current possible dispute. He probably brought along a bottle of Pepto-Bismol since he's been to these events before. I'm guessing it's Thanksgiving since the calendar says "November 1956."

Click on image to see it larger.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday this week. I've been gone, even when I was here. Long story.



Seeing a lake go nearly bone dry can change your perspective on a lot of things. Worrying your well will do the same thing causes some quiet anxiety.

I don't know where this lake is, but I'm guessing California. It just looks like a California reservoir. Well, what our reservoirs once looked like. These days those buildings would most likely be high and dry.

Click on image to see it larger.

I'm glad I'm used to the idea of saving water. I remember the drought in 1977. My folks were trying to sell their house and they had to let the lawn die and most of the plants. The idiot neighbor dug a well and bragged about how much water he was getting. He was too stupid to know all of that water was coming from my folks house as my dad tried desperately to save several trees.

When I moved to Los Angeles I was stunned by the stupidity I saw regarding water wasting. We were taking two minute showers in the north and in LA they were still hosing a single leaf off the sidewalk in Beverly Hills. I'm betting things haven't changed much in Beverly Hills and Bel Air with this current drought. I don't imagine the owners of those mansions have many brown lawns. I'd like to think they would, but I'm betting against it.

UPDATE: Thanks to Intense Guy we now know that this is the Pit River Bridge at Lake Shasta in Northern California.
The highest combination road and rail bridge in the world, the Pit River bridge is also the highest rail bridge ever built in the United States. Constructed in 1942, the colossal cantilever bridge was a necessary component of the Southern Pacific railroad relocation from the construction of the 602 foot (183 mtr) high Shasta Dam. The creation of Lake Shasta resulted in a dozen new rail tunnels and 4 towering trestles.
One of the highest concrete dams in the United States, the 602 foot (183 mtr) high Shasta Dam was constructed just downstream of the confluence of the Sacramento and Pit rivers. Extensive surveys were made prior to the dam’s completion to find the most suitable spot for the rail line to cross the deep canyon of the Pit River. The abutments had to be founded on soil that was not prone to landslides once the steep slopes became saturated with water. A route that would have closely followed the nearby McCloud river was changed for just that reason. The final route required large bridges across several major creeks including O’Brien, Doney and Salt in addition to the two big river crossings of the Pit and Sacramento. (SOURCE: Highest Bridges.com