Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The Tourist Pose
Take a look at The National Geographic, Sunset or Arizona Highways, from the fifties, and you'll see this pose. Usually, it's a nice couple, looking at someone in native dress or a tour guide, with the attraction in the background. Of course, those photos were usually in the super saturated Kodak color films of the day. I'd be surprised if the person who took this photo wasn't a regular reader of at least one of those magazines.
Written on the back, "Earl & Opal Allred at Calico, Calif. 1956." I did a quick search for Earl and Opal and found an Earl W. and Opal E., living in Los Angeles, and latter in California City. But when Ancestry.Com asked for my credit card number...well, that ended things right then and there.
Calico is a ghost town north of Barstow, California. It's a county park, and a bit more preserved today. California City is a semi-failed development in the California desert. The idea was to put hundreds of thousands of people in the Mojave, but those plans fell through when L.A. was reluctant to allow a tap in to the Owens Valley Aqueduct.