Tattered and Lost VERNACULAR PHOTOGRAPHY

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Was it really FIFTY YEARS AGO?
This is a repost of one I did on July 20, 2009. Hard to believe this was so very long ago.____________________________________This is for Robert at Live from the Surface of the Moon. I generally don't share personal family photos or anything that I've shot, but this is different. This is part of the human experience 40 years ago. This was a global experience and I haven't seen anything since then that has stopped the rotation of the earth in the same way. I was one of those people sitting glued to my tv for days awaiting the arrival of the astronauts on the moon and none of it was a hyped let down. It was all magnificent. I snapped pictures with my 35 mm Mamiya Sekor. I had my little reel to reel tape recorder going. All I have left are vague memories buried deep inside that can really only be conjured by closing my eyes or going outside on an especially beautiful full moon night. The reel to reel recording? In a box. I long ago lost the ability to play it. I'm sure there are thousands of photos like this all over the world in long forgotten boxes.For those who weren't alive to experience this, I'm sorry. You missed a humdinger!Years later friends dragged me nearly kicking and screaming to the MGM Grand for a show. First off I don't like casinos, secondly I hate casino shows. This was billed as an extravaganza with the high point...a real plane on the stage with half naked woman standing on the wings waving and truly lousy dancers cavorting across the stage as the curtain was pulled back. I gritted my teeth while the people in the audience sat mesmerized and applauding. It was all nonsense and I wondered how they could be excited by this when less than 10 years before we'd seen two men walk on the moon. People forget and they move onto the next shiny object. Not me.

The Party's OVER
In keeping with this Saturday's Sepia Saturday prompt I give you my take on the revelers.The party is over and the women have excused themselves to the kitchen where they make in depth small talk (they do it, seriously, it's in depth) over the cold cuts...Click on image to see it larger.while the men...well, the men haven't quite stopped partying. They can tell it to the judge in the morning.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

Ahhh, SWEET WILDERNESS...Sour Stomach, but Sweet Wilderness
Nothing like having breakfast outside on a camping trip...unless you get food poisoning. You're a long way from medical attention out in the woods. You better make sure to NOT put mayo on anything before you leave home.As to what's going on here? I'd say these folks are not paying attention to the family member writhing next to the tent. Did he eat something gone bad? Is the woman in the foreground smelling the bread thinking, "Oh geez, this is gone bad. Wonder if anyone has noticed."Click on the top image to see it larger.  This is my submission this week for Sepia Saturday. Just hang the sign on my door "Gone Camping!"And no idea why the second photo is green. The original isn't. The one uploaded isn't. But then this page has been a nightmare to create.  ________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

How to FRAME YOUR SUBJECT: Photography 101
Click on image to see it larger.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

DAPPER Dan
Looking at this week's Sepia Saturday prompt I'm wondering if this might be where the man in the straw boater was heading.In this case, this dapper Dan, is my great-grandfather with his second wife. His name really was Dan. This was in the backyard of their row house in Pennsylvania, probably around 1914.Click on image to see it larger.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

METEOR BOB
Meteor Bob was part of the early space program. It was very low budget. Bob would wander around in his backyard with a badminton racket perusing the sky for any incoming meteorites. For each meteorite he hit back into orbit he would be paid $50,000.Bob died a very poor man.Click on image to see it larger.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

Mrs. S. WICKET
Always available for Sunday afternoon games, Mrs. Stickey Wicket was always the first person invited to croquet parties. She never understood why.Click on image to see it larger.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

A MAN and His Car
Living in California we are pretty much raised to think a car is an extension of our body. We also seem to think it's a constitutional right to have a car. No place is this more obvious than Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area during commute time. Pure hell. Car after car going by with a single occupant.It used to be, I believe, that cars were a statement about a man's manhood. For woman it wasn't the engine—or so the dealers thought—but the color of the outside and interior of the car and whether it had a mirror the ladies could look at to do their makeup. Seriously, they were idiots. Though I find nearly all ads for cars pretty stupid and repetitive (don't get me started on the luxury models that we're supposed to put under the Christmas tree each year), at least there is an attempt to go beyond the clichés of the past with the male/female stereotypes. Now we're supposed to be reckless, off-road, and extremely hot looking. I'm just glad I ended up in publishing and not advertising. I would have been shown the door in no time at all.This week's Sepia Saturday photo is of a fellow standing in front of a car. I immediately went to the big BIG box of photos I was given for Christmas. Surely in the hundreds of shots in that glorious box there must be at least one of a guy with a car. I stopped after finding the following three.I do know who this fellow was. His name was Ben and he was a Naval officer.Click on image to see it larger.On the back of this one it says "Taken June 18, 8th grade graduation." Diggin' the car and the flattop.Click on image to see it larger.NO idea who this fun fellow is.Click on image to see it larger.I love my car. I love driving my car. I have always loved driving. I do like to drive fast, but I don't anymore. The fastest I've ever driven was on the Autobahn. I thought I was doing pretty good until I saw the flashing headlights way way way behind me approaching at a tremendous speed. No sooner had I seen them and pulled into the slower lane than a Porsche blur shot by. I pretty much stayed in the slow lane the rest of the time which was still moving very fast.As I recall I have only one photo of myself standing next to a car. It was a bright red Audi in Germany. I loved that car too. It's long gone, but like with most cars, the memory remains.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

The EYES Are the Windows to This Girls Soul
If you saw the previous post you will recognize this little girl. You will also recognize that no matter where she goes trouble follows.Click on image to see it larger.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

When DISASTER HITS THE BEDROOM!
When I saw this week's Sepia Saturday image I knew exactly what photo I wanted to post. Disaster? You want to see a disaster? I've got a disaster for you. The problem became, "Where did I put that shot?" Some photos are nicely filed away if they are to be part of a series, others not so lucky. This one took awhile, which meant I got to sort, which meant I got to peruse, which meant I got to say, "Oh, I'd forgotten about this one."There are only two legitimate reasons for what appears in this photo. Two! No more than two!1. This is Hurricane Hannah who had nightly swirling toys in her bedroom. When you turn on the lights everything settles around her. Turn off the lights and it's all swirling again. Hannah lives in Kansas so this is pretty normal stuff.2. This is Magnetic Mabel. Mabel's mom has given up asking her to clean her room. In fact her mom has asked her to stay in her room because whenever Mabel leaves her room this stuff follows her...and then everything else metal in the house follows her. Neighborhood kids think it's cool when Mabel comes out the door with the Mixmaster and toaster oven—with her dad's toast inside—tagging along behind her.I'm sure you can come up with your own reasons as to why this little girl is cornered by her toys.It's a disaster I tell you! A complete disaster!Click on image to see it larger.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

1940s GLAMOUR
This is a very large print: 11" x 14". It, along with a large box of photos, was a gift from a friend at Christmas.I have no information about the woman in this photo or who took it. It's obviously a glamour shot, most likely taken in the '40s. Was this a wife's pinup to send to her husband?Unlike the glamour shots of today, which often look just a little too tacky, this is done in the style of George Hurell. Done in the style, but in no way captures the magic that he did. Take a look at Hurell's work, especially similar ones, and you'll find that this one is a bit confusing. The photo was taken as a horizontal, but turned horizontal it just looks weird. Well, it looks weird either way. At least with the vertical she's making eye contact. Look at the shots Hurell took of Bette Davis and Veronica Lake. They make sense as horizontal images.Now look at this one horizontal.I think her chin should have been lifted up more allowing a better gaze into the lens. But then I'm just being picky. I imagine the woman, and any recipient, must have been thrilled. It is a lovely shot, but it could have been so much more.And if I'm going to be even more picky, I think the photographer should have touched up the shot by taking out whatever the heck that is on her sleeve. It's really annoying.This is what I came up with for Sepia Saturday after being gone for so long. Just as the Sepia Saturday selection is a little "off" so is this one. I have missed participating and I'm happy to see it is still up and running. I appreciate the work put in to keep it going.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

Buyer BEWARE and Then Some
This is just a little note to tell people to think twice about buying any of my books from third party sellers. First they jack them up to ridiculous prices and secondly they don't actually have the books; this is on both eBay and Amazon. They are scamming you to pay for something they never acquired themselves and then charging insane prices for the book and the shipping. Please think twice about buying from them. This is sort of a crooked thing Amazon is aware of and allows to happen. Just buy the book direct if you want one. They're nice books and I don't want people to have bad experiences trying to get them. I have pride in them and these sellers just make me want to take a shower to wash off the disgust. And now back to my regular programming. This is a photo my friend Bert gave me. Cute little fella with a very tiny wagon. I mean a really tiny wagon. Not much would fit in that wagon except maybe some gumdrops or a tiny bear. You have to use your imagination with a wagon that small.There's no information about the little fella or the photographer.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

ANOTHER Year
I've been away from this site and my other site for a long time. The joy had left me. The joy had left almost everything in life as I struggled to be a full time caregiver to my father. In the end he lost the battle. I lost the battle. I am empty. I miss his laugh.Being a caregiver full time means putting yourself on hold. There is little time for self. It's a good lesson, but a difficult one. You don't get paid for being a caregiver so money becomes an additional stress. I looked at photos on ebay, but I didn't buy. There was no time (or money) to go to antique stores, flea markets, or estate sales. But friends, good friends, and a stranger were very kind to me.The photo below was from a very kind woman named Brenda. She sent it to me because of the Hartsook connection. For that reason I start up again by reposting my original Hartsook post that enabled her to find me.I quite like this young man. Is he younger or older than he looks? Is he just on the cusp of being an adult and has the clothes he feels make him look older? Or is he someone who goes through life always looking younger than his years? I think he should have been very proud of his portrait.You'll notice this shot was taken in Seattle, not San Francisco.And thank you Brenda!And now, the original Hartsook post from May 7, 2012These images came from my friend Bert’s collection. I don’t know where he found them, but I think they’re quite a nice find.This is Edward in 1920. That's all I know about this young man. This lock of hair was tucked in with the two photos. I have not found anything online about the Nelson Studio in Santa Rosa, California.Click on image to see it larger.This second photo was taken at a Hartsook studio.Click on either image to see it larger.The following information about the photographer Fred Hartsook is from Wikipedia.Fred Hartsook (26 October 1876 – 30 September 1930) was an American photographer and owner of a California studio chain described as "the largest photographic business in the world" at the time,[1] who counted Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Mary Pickford, and sitting President Woodrow Wilson among his celebrity clients. He later became the owner of the Hartsook Inn, a resort in Humboldt County, and two ranches in Southern California on which he reared prized Holstein cattle. Hartsook was married to Bess Hesby, queen of the San Francisco Pan-Pacific Exposition of 1915.Fred Hartsook was born on 26 October 1876 in Marion, Indiana to John Hartsook and Abbie, née Gorham. He was born into a family of photographers and studio owners, his father and two uncles were all successful in the business and his grandfather had been the first photographer to open a studio in Virginia. According to a 1921 profile by John S. McGroarty, "the first Hartsooks [took] up the profession when it was in the infancy of development with the old daguerrotype and the first wet plate processes."After graduating from high school at age sixteen Hartsook was apprenticed by his uncle as a civil engineer, but spent most of his time in his father's studio. He moved to Salt Lake City, Utah and married Florence Newcomb, 12 September 1901. Flossie came from a family of photographers. She operated her own studio in Vernal, Utah in 1906. Flossie served as Fred's assistant for their traveling photographic studio throughout the Utah territory. They had one daughter; Frances born 25 June 1902. Fred and family then set out to establish themselves in California, arriving sometime after 1906. Initially, Hartsook operated as an "itinerant shutterbug, [wandering] all over the state, his team of mules pulling a homemade darkroom." Later he opened two studios, in Santa Ana and Santa Barbara, but eventually closed them in order to open a studio on 636 South Broadway in Los Angeles.Hartsook's success as a photographer and studio owner allowed him to expand into other cities along the Pacific Coast, including San Francisco and Oakland. In 1921, McGroarty gives the number of studios as 20 and describes it as the "largest photographic business in the world". Bill Robertson, director of the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services, cited by KPCC in 2009, mentions 30 studios.Even if the bulk of the business came from everyday studio portraiture, Hartsook gained prominence through his celebrity clients, which included silent era Hollywood actors such as Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, and Carlyle Blackwell, other celebrities such as pilot Charles Lindbergh, entrepreneur Henry Ford, and opera singer Geraldine Farrar, and politicians like House leaders Champ Clark and Joseph Gurney Cannon. McGroarty describes a 40-minute sitting with President Woodrow Wilson in September 1919 as "the first formal sitting since Mr. Wilson became president." Also in 1919, Fred Hartsook married Bess Hesby, who in 1915 was "Miss Liberty" at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. They honeymooned in a cabin six miles (10 km) south of Garberville in the redwood forest of Humboldt County, California. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)The last incarnation of the Hartsook Inn is still standing and I stayed there a few times. It was a lovely place with nice little cabins. It’s been vacant for a long time and whenever I drive by I feel a little sad. It’s along a busy two lane section of Hwy 101. I imagine someday the road will be moved, changed into a 6 lane freeway, and bypass the Hartsook. It will be forgotten, just as Edward may be forgotten.To see images of the Hartsook Inn click here to visit CardCow.Click here to read a newspaper article about the Hartsook Inn in 1949.Click here to read a nice blog post at Ernie's Place about the Inn.________Tattered and Lost volumes 1 to 9 available at Amazon.

MERRY CHRISTMAS


The SUBLIMENESS OF BEING A CAT
For your viewing pleasure.  A collection of cat snapshots in a new book. If you're a cat lover I think you'll enjoy this.Tattered and Lost: The Sublimeness of Being a Cat


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