Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Strangers in Grayscale

  Here are some old photos of strangers that I got from an antique store on the waterfront downtown. What I like about old photos of strangers is that it is fun to make up stories about the people in them.

    I imagine that this man's name is Hank and he is an aspiring politician.  Probably this was the day he announced is run for mayor. It was also the day of the Mayfair parade. After the parade, while everyone was in the park eating baked beans and bbq chicken, he went to the podium to announce his candidacy. However, despite Hanks seemingly kind and friendly disposition, he was involved with some nefarious people. The man in the photo to Hank's right is Steve. Steve is the son of the local crime lords. The crime lords think that bumbling, sweet-faced Hank will the perfect shmuck to act as their puppet. What they don't know is that Hank is not as naive as they assume. While pretending to work with the crime lords, he will destroy the criminal network from within!

    On the back of this picture it says Judy and Jeannette (or maybe Jedy and Jeannette,  it is hard to tell because of the writing). Even though Judy makes more sense as a dogs name than Jeannette, I imagine the dog is Jeannette and the girl is Judy. The girl just looks like a Judy to me. It is hard to tell how old Judy is, but I am guessing 12 or 13. I think that her father was a traveling business man who always brings his daughter a gift after his trips. This time, he brought his daughter home a camera. Usually when her dad comes home, Judy runs to greet him. But before she could do so, her father had her stop on the patio so he could take a picture of her with the new camera. Jeannette the dog however, refused to stay put and continued her enthusiastic run toward her person.

    I think these two people are named Alice and Mary-Lou. Mary-Lou is Alice's first child. Before Alice had her daughter, she was a frolicking free flapper! She spent her nights swigging gin and dancing the Charleston  Alice grew up with an overbearing, conservative family so when she was fifteen she ran away to New York where she could indulge in the flapper lifestyle and its embrace of youthful freedom and light-heartedness. She has been estranged from her family ever since, but now that she has her own child she is considering an attempt at reconciliation.

   I think this is Maude and that she has lived her whole life in the country. She and her husband lived on a farm until his recent (in terms of when the picture was taken) death. Maude tried to live on the farm by herself, but she became lonely and the chores of keeping a farm afloat are too much for one person. So Maude's niece who lives in the suburbs insisted Maude must come live with her! The first thing Maude's niece did was take her Aunt shopping. She bought her aunt a new jacket, gloves and hat so she could more easily fit in with the fancier women in the suburbs. Maude's niece took this picture of her Aunt wearing her new outfit.

     This picture is my favorite (With Judy and Jeannette coming in as a close second)! I think that this is a family photo of a family who decided to leave behind the emerging suburban life to build a new life in the forest. The mother took the photo and the people in the photo are her daughter, husband and brother in law. They live in a small cabin next to a river. Every day they fish together and every night they have a grand fish feast. The little girl has an idyllic life or skipping stones and making up songs on her little toy horn. I think the brother might be a little bit of a bad influence. Before they left for the woods I think he drank too much (although he was always a jovial drunk) and sometimes pressured his brother into getting into mischief with him. The mother was reluctant to allow her brother in-law to accompany them to their new life. But she relented knowing her brother in-law has a kind heart and many useful skills.

These are the stories I saw while looking at these pictures, but maybe you saw a different story.....


Optimistic Existentialist said...

Amber, this is my absolute favoorite blog post of all-time. I am 100% serious. I love what you did here...giving life to these photographs and giving stories to them. You, my friend, see the world in a way that very few people do. That is awesome...

Amber @ Fauna Finds Flora said...

Thanks so much Keith! That is very kind of you to say. :)