Archive for July, 2013

July 4, 2013 Through a Black & White Lens

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Two of my grand passions—black and white photos and the 4th of July—have converged this morning (I’m the only one awake so far), as I peruse a batch of family photos from the 1920s through about 1940 while simultaneously weighing leisure and entertainment options for Independence Day 2013.

First up is this lovely image of three sisters, all in white frocks, lined up for a summer photo op. I find their descending age and height conga-line rendered poignant vs conventional by the charming uniqueness each subject brings to her pose: The bloomers and blunt bangs on the littlest, the quizzical smile and almost-wink of Middle Sister, the demure clasped hands and half bitten lip of the oldest.

Then, as I ponder whether the kayak rental at Hopkinton State Park will be open on a holiday, I marvel at the silvery, misty beauty of a shot of two children in a rowboat, their reflection in the water black and painterly while the double silhouette of a foothill on the other shore seems about to fade right off the print. I love the white collar on the little boy (the rower’s brother?), the way the girl’s wool bathing suit hugs her, and how her stockings seem plastered in place over her knees.

I might be wrong, but my guess is that the rider on this trike is the rowboat passenger in the picture above, a year or two later. I’ll have to scan some catalogs for examples of early 20th century kid’s clothing to verify, but in the meantime I’m basing my hunch and my circa date on the resemblance between the little faces (under a magnifying glass) and between the trike he’s riding and photos of mid/late 20s tubular steel frame tricycles with rubber tires at the amazing Tricycle Fetish site.

Today’s early-rising mercury reminds me of the brutally hot July 4th we spent at Fenway maybe 8 or 9 years ago, when “Nomah” was still around. People were buying scandalously overpriced bottles of water just to pour them over their heads. This young lady (I believe it’s Middle Sister, maybe 2 summers after her 3-in-a-row pose) looks to be infinitely cooler as she toe taps on home plate:

Finally, I’m not sure if this little flag-waver is kin to or an earlier incarnation of the rowing champ above (they definitely bear a resemblance), but she speaks for me in her wishes– Happy Independence Day!