Monday, May 17, 2010
Outdoor Life in California
I love collections like this. All the photographs come from the same source, an estate collection, and they show three distinct periods in the life of one person. The image of the girls standing in front of the tent is labeled, "Lower Left Elizabeth Archer (Eliza) Dorothy Morris (Dot) Katherine Dechan (Kathy) Hazel Robinson (Bob) Top Left Miss Edythe, Dorris Guthrie." The tall, bespectacled girl, standing alone, "Miss Edythe Van Arden." The two girls in white skirts, standing on the path, "Guin and Peter Pan." The large group of girls standing at the edge of the pool, "Camp 29" Is 29 a date, 1929? The two Asian girls in swimsuits, "Left Eugenia Fujita, Dorothy Fujita, 1877 Sutter St. San Francisco." This probably places this girl's summer camp in the bay area. Too, there are sites on the web that give partial lists of Japanese Americans who were interred during World War 2. I couldn't find a listing for these two girls, but they would have been, at least in their mid-twenties by the start of the war, and very possibly married and listed under different names. The two girls next to the pool one with the curly, blond hair, "Left Miss Lu & Miss Betty." And the young lady with the red cross/life guard badge on her suit, "Miss Patsy Laphan." The shot of the porch, "Camp 29." Again, is that a date? And finally, the lake with what looks like a miniature lighthouse, "Lake Lokayh." A quick inter-net search didn't yield anything by that name, but someone out there might recognize it. The next group of three pictures move things forward. The people have gone from high school age to college age. All have a lab stamp on the back, "GENUINE KRYSTAL GLOSS GUARANTEED FOREVER MAY 23, 1933 BEAR PHOTO SERVICE." If the camp 29 references refer to 1929, then these would be around four years latter. Too, all are labeled, "Stinson Beach." A location. Stinson Beach is just north of San Francisco on route 101. Another bay area local. The two girls on the spare tire, "Clem & I." The four guys goofing around, "Dee-Curly-Al-Clyde." I'm always fascinated by pictures of young men just before World War 2. In eight or nine years, after these pictures were taken, these four young men were very likely in the military, and it's pretty probable that they all didn't come back alive, or at least in one piece. The two guys and two girls, "Clyde-Me-Clem-Curly." The next group of images aren't labeled in anyway. No names, no dates, but the cars are from the fifties era and it looks like a spring skiing trip in the high Sierra of California. A glimpse of the good, middle class life that was a hall mark of American life in the post war years. The last two landscapes, Lake Tahoe and the Sierra, aren't all that interesting, and they may or may not have been taken at the same time as the ski trip images, but I prefer to not edit out pictures from collections.