Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Army Hospital Album 9

There's not a lot of color in this album.

Stamped on the back of all prints, "THIS IS A KODACOLOR PRINT MADE BY EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY . REGIS.  U.S. PAT OFF Week of July 11, 1955  VI  PA  2"

At least we have a date when these prints were made, and more than likely they were printed sometime within a month or two of when the pictures were taken.  I've been trying to do some research on the meaning of  "VI" and PA"  Having grown up in Pennsylvania, I can't help but going to "PA"  for, well PA.  But then I think about the "VI" and then it doesn't make so much sense.

Click on army hospital collection in labels to bring up the whole lot.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Army Hospital Album 8

Usually it's the women who wear the revealing swimsuits, but not this time.

Click on army hospital collection in the labels section to bring up the lot.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Army Hospital Album 7

It looks like the guys had a bit of leave coming.  They're still in hospital, though, as will be seen in upcoming posts.  I still think they are patients in a psychiatric ward.  When these were taken it was called shell shock.  Today it's PSTD, post traumatic stress disorder.

Click on army hospital collection in the labels section to bring up the whole collection.  Still lots to go.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why Is This Woman Wearing Pajamas In Public?

Whoever thought this was a good look, was wrong.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Show Me Your Papers, The Big Book of National Identity Cards

It wasn't really a book.  Back when I worked in photo labs, we had what we called The Big Book of National Identity Cards.  What it really was, was a collection of xerox sheets and computer print outs with specifications for various government IDs.  In a nut shell, if someone was visiting L.A. from Burkina Faso, and they lost their identity card, we could look it up and make them new photos.  After that, they were on their own, of course, and I always had a bad feeling that some of those lost papers was a solid basis for an asylum request.  After all, who wants to cross a Stan or two?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Let It Snow

Woe is me.  Between my ongoing financial problems and my off again on again car problems, I haven't been backpacking in years.  Finally, I thought I had a solution.  Since I probably won't be working next week, I thought I could take the commuter train from my Los Angeles neighborhood to Acton at the edge of the Antelope Valley, walk back to a trail head in the Angeles National Forrest, and then walk a series of trails to Pasadena, and then a bus home.  But then it snowed in our local mountains.  Good for the skiers and snow boarders, but not so good for me.  I've hiked in snow before, but without knowing the accumulation, and with only a week, well what should have been a six to seven day walk could have ballooned into something much longer.

So what about our snow family.  I'm thinking that sailor suit might be World War 2 vintage.  A my dad's in the navy sort of thing.  Then again, maybe the kid just liked the clothes.  With everybody dressed up, I'm also thinking holiday diner at Grandma's.  Over the river and through the woods.  But Thanksgiving or Christmas?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Where were you when Kennedy died?

Just yesterday, I was with a group of people, like myself, who were alive when John Kennedy was assassinated, and all of us could recall where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news.  I was eight years old, it was recess, and my friend Kevin and I were running around doing what kids do.  We saw a couple of sixth grade girls standing off by themselves, crying.  We went over to find out what was going on, and they told us that the President was dead.  That he had been shot, while on a trip to Dallas, Texas.  We made fun of them.  Everyone knew that you couldn't kill the President and anyone who thought different was just plain dumb.  When we went back to class, after recess, our teacher told us to sit quietly and wait for an announcement from the Principal.  And then it came over the PA system.  The President had been shot and was dead.  All the students who rode the bus were to go to the cafeteria and wait, those who walked to school, were to go home.  I lived a 45 minute walk away, so by the time I got home and turned on the television, (Black & white, and we only received two channels.) there wasn't much new being reported.  A couple of days latter, I saw Lee Harvey Oswald murdered on live television.

This photo has been previously published.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vietnam, Pearl of the Orient 4

This is the last from this particular Vietnam postcard folder.  I've got another one, but I'm going to put off doing that one for awhile.  Is it just me, or are other photo bloggers having problems with images being darker than the scans?  It just seems like it's been in the last couple of weeks.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Vietnam, Pearl of the Orient 3

A few years ago, a friend of mine told me he had a heart condition and asked me when I had realized that more than half my life might be over.  I thought it over for a minute and said, "Fifteen."  I was born in 1955 and in 1970, it had become obvious that Vietnam was, in many ways, a class war.  There were so many exemptions, and easy access to draft lawyers and challenges for those of a certain income and above.  I was a small town kid , being raised by a single mother in a sub poverty income household.  I may have been the ultimate draft bait, but I got lucky.  The Paris Peace Accords that ended American combat operations was agreed to on January 23, 1973, my eighteenth birthday.  It was signed on the 27th.  Two years latter, like most Americans, I sat and watched the fall of Saigon on TV.  I can remember thinking, "I'm glad it wasn't me."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Vietnam, Pearl of the Orient 2

I'm sure these postcards were meant to be reassuring for the folks back home, but it's also  nice to remember that most Vietnamese weren't the villains we made them out to be.  They were just ordinary people trying to get by in a very bad situation.

Vietnam, Pearl of the Orient 1

I'm not quite sure how I'm going to put this one up.   Anyone of a certain age, who ever drove cross country, will be familiar with these multi-image postcard olders.  My guess, this particular one was purchased at a PX in Vietnam.  The perfect set of images to persuade a worried mother that things weren't so bad in Vietnam, the pearl of the Orient

Thursday, November 14, 2013

More Mystery Locales, The Travelers Collection

A month ago, I bought a small collection of photos, heavy on travel  shots.  They're all from the same source, so someone, or some family liked to keep moving.  I'm putting these three up together, because they all have that Mediterranean feel, southern Europe, maybe North Africa.  They're not labeled, and there's nothing so distinctive in any of these photos, that would make it possible to go searching, on the net, for a location.  So, if anyone out there recognizes their old home town or favorite destination, leave a comment.

Click on travelers collection in the labels at the bottom of the post to bring up other images from the same lot.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Diamond Jim's

Well, she does have a moll feel to her. The gangster's lady, hitting the tables while big Louie plots a hit or two.  More than likely though,  she was  a nice middle class woman, gone to Vegas to gamble, lounge by the pool, and see Steve and Eydie.  (Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, a popular vocal duo popular with the Vegas crowd, for those too young to know.)

The first legal gaming licence in Nevada was issued in 1931 to Mayme V. Stocker and J. H. Morgan for The Northern Club on Fremont St., Las Vegas.  A year latter, Morgan opened The Nevada Club, one block east, at 113 E. Fremont.  From 1962 to 1969, it was known as Diamond Jim's Nevada Club.  Diamond Jim was Morgan's nickname.  The club closed in 1969, and in the early seventies the property was demolished to make way for a Golden Nugget expansion.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Instructing the Fire Chiefs

I tried finding some info on Peck Photo, the credited owner of the image.  Go to Google, and find just how many photographers there are in the U.S. named Peck.  I gave up after scrolling through a dozen pages or so.  My guess is that this photo is from sometime between the two world wars.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

On A Cold Day

How cold was it on the day the picture was taken?  From the twenties.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tracks In The Snow

Winter is coming, and it's time to remember what it was like before things started warming up.  Yes, I know that there are still major snow storms, but when I hear that the glaciers in Glacier National Park will all be gone in the next thirty years...well, I'm glad I saw them.  Now, is that a railroad track in the snow, or a streetcar line?

Home Entertainment

Once again, it's time to visit the world, before radio, before television, and just barely into the gramophone age, when people were expected to entertain themselves.  We have a woman with a horn, a man with a violin, and a piano in the background.   We also have a rather odd crowd.  It's one man who makes this real photo postcard something different.  In an age where it was rare for people of different races to socialize, there is one Asian gentleman in the front row.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Polaroid Ladies Club

I picked this one up because it's an early Polaroid.  Despite the company's attempt to position itself as a consumer friendly,  on the go, manufacturer of fun photographic products, Polaroid always had a big problem.  It wasn't cheap.  Even when the camera itself was low cost, the film packs weren't.  For a cheap, easy to use camera, the only real choices were the Kodak Instamatic and the 110 cartridge cameras.  And in the end, both companies got left behind in the digital race.

Written on the back, "Easter Sunday, April 17, 1960"  In 1960, all Polaroid camera film had a paper peal off back.  The discolored areas are where the paper backing didn't come off as it should have.  Basically, the print didn't develop evenly.