Saturday, July 31, 2010

American Country Stores ~ #19 In A Series

This tidy little country store in Ophur, Colorado was photographed by Russell Lee in September, 1940.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Yesterday On The Beach

On the beach yesterday morning, the sand and water were being enjoyed thoroughly by scores of children under the tutelage of local lifeguards.

It was heartening to see so many kids out in the fresh air, running around, swimming and having a great time.

The lifeguards had them running through obstacle courses, swimming, and paddling boards.

These pictures are straight out of the camera - the sky really was that blue!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

100 Years Ago On The Isle Of Capri

100 years ago, a young lad posed on a stone bridge on the isle of Capri for early color photographer Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii. Prokudin-Gorskii, a Russian, had developed a system of three color separation and glass slides that could be projected together to create color photographs.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Egret At The Beach

Despite the crowds of tourists, this egret went about hunting sand crabs.

He was remarkably nonchalant.

There were actually two of them and each had staked out a stretch of sand and didn't encroach on the other.

Another day at the beach.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What They Have In Common

These pictures were all taken in 1940 in Los Angeles. The restaurant above was in Venice Beach.

These young people were watching a bowling tournament. One of the participants is shown below.

What makes these pictures most interesting is that they are from a portfolio in the Los Angeles Public Library. The portfolio of Ansel Adams.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Cardiff Kook

A few years back, in the interest of public art, our powers that be had a bronze statue of a surfer installed along the Coast Highway. The reception by local surfers was a wave of derision, given that the stance of the surfer is far from realistic. However, as time has gone by, the swell of outrage has ebbed and the statue is now known almost fondly as "The Cardiff Kook".

In the dark of night, local pranksters keep up a steady tide of mischief. At Halloween, the statue sported a jumbo carved pumpkin head. Above, it wears a skirt and a wrestling mask and carries an umbrella. At one point, to no avail, sheriff's deputies stepped up patrols to stop the mockery. No actual damage has ever been done.

On the Fourth of July, it was dressed as Uncle Sam, with a red, white and blue top hat and cutaway jacket. Above, a chaste nightgown, at Christmas a Santa hat. But the piece de resistance is below. A gigantic papier mache great white shark, mouth open wide, ready to swallow the whole statue. This will be a hard act to follow.

Below, a closer look.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A World War I War Bonds Poster

With a palm frond in one hand and a sword in the other, in this 1918 poster by Haskell Coffin, Lady Liberty appealed to Americans to help finance World War I through war bonds.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

American Country Stores ~ #18 In A Series

In Natchitoches, Louisiana, the Jungle Bar and the local country store were on the road to Black Lake. Photograph from the Library of Congress, made by Marion post Wolcott, July, 1940.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Once the Hubble Space Telescope was repaired last September, its journey through the vast reaches of space resumed. NASA shares the photographs it receives, like this one, of Planetary Nebula NGC 6302, with colorful wings made of 36,000 degree gas.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

100 Years Ago In Russia

These are more early color photographs made between 1905 and 1910 by the irrepressible Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii. As discussed here before, he was commissioned by Czar Nicolas to travel the width and breadth of the vast reaches of the Russian Empire, documenting the numerous cultures through pictures. He traveled in a specially outfitted rail car and used an advanced three color separation technique and glass slides to create his unique color pictures.

These pictures show a family posing in front of their yurt, with a pack laden camel, in native dress and, a first for me, what the inside of a yurt looked like.

No precise location was given for where in the Russian Empire these particular photographs were made.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random Pictures Of Town

Here are a few random shots taken out the car window while out on errands. The fellow above was feeling his entrepreneurial spirit and using a local park to give tightrope walking lessons. You may recall a picture from last year of hula hoop lessons down on the beach. A local circus trapeze business recently closed, not for lack of customers, but for landlord's insurance concerns.

This little beach cottage has new gates - they're wood and metal and quite beautiful. The little building you see behind them is a pagoda, as incredibly detailed as the gates.

Our town has a thriving hot rod community and it's common to see their restored classic cars out on the roads. This looks like either a '56 or '57 Chevy, as immaculate as the day it first rolled off the showroom floor.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Summer Garden

After a week of overcast days, we're in the midst of a heat wave. That means getting out right after dawn to water the garden before the heat sets in.

Monday, July 19, 2010

On The Wall

At a service station at the end of town, a cinder block wall has been painted with a mural that depicts our 4 miles of coastline.

The artist did a good job of compressing our coastline down to the 25 feet he had to work with.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vintage Italian Travel Posters

The last in this summer's series of old Italian travel posters - this one is from 1920.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

American Country Stores ~ #17 In A Series

The year was 1914 and the town was Dawsonville, Georgia. A Ford and a horse and wagon were both parked out front of the local country store.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Summer Morning On The Beach

My mom joined me for a walk on the beach yesterday morning. Walking together is always a good way for us to catch up with each other's news.

The tide was low and the sun was out.

Touists were enjoying playing in the shore break.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

At The Fruit Stand

A trip to our favorite fruit stand is far from mundane. On the contrary, it's my favorite errand.

It's not possible to leave there empty handed.

From oranges to anthuriums and orchids to artichokes, it's a treat for the senses.

Even the common sunflower beckons one closer.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

100 Years Ago In Missouri

Back at the start of the 20th century, photographer Lewis Wickes Hine traveled the country, capturing pictures of children at labor, documenting their circumstances. He took photographs from Boston to Louisiana, west to Los Angeles and hundreds of points in between. This particular shot was made a hundred years ago near the Big Bonanza Mine, in Aurora, Missouri, in 1910. The boys were shoveling zinc ore from the train car into a wagon. The two smallest boys attended school and worked on Saturdays, while the oldest boy worked every day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Behind The Scenes

We recently had the opportunity to tour a hat factory.

Having made my living as a seamstress for a number of years, making aloha shirts and swim trunks, the process was fascinating to me.

The workers were highly skilled, happy in their creative endeavors and friendly to strangers wandering through.

Hats will look different to me from now on.