Saturday, September 01, 2018

Sunny Portraits

Vintage scans of people - sometimes those can be surprisingly fun! And let's face it, you can't go wrong with pretty women on a sunny day. Both of today's images were taken by a guy who was crazy about his photogenic wife - he took a LOT of pictures of her! 

This first one is from 1958, we're taking a break near the pool. Perhaps this lady was in Arizona? Or New Mexico? There are a number of images of her in various Southwestern locations, but I particularly like this example as our heroin relaxes over an aquamarine swimming pool (complete with genuine inner tube!). 

Now it's 1959, and the woman has gone blonde! It looks pretty good too. She has her cat's-eye shades on, and is elegant in a dress that might reflect Mexican or Guatemalan influences, as well as that silver concho belt. This photo looks like it should be an ad for Kodachrome film.


Nanook said...


Both photos look postcard or travel brochure-worthy - or as you say: that second one does look as if it was lifted from a Kodachrome brochure. At the pool, it looks as though a wide mist of water is spraying into the pool, along with a dangling thermometer underneath the sisal-covered diving board. (And, BTW... just who thought sisal felt good under one's feet when attempting a dive-? It always bugged the hell out of me-!) And, I understand it's now become a 'hot new trend' in current interior decorating.

Thanks, Major. And Happy September.

TokyoMagic! said...

The canna lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower....suitable to any occasion.

K. Martinez said...

Ah, a telephone pole! Thanks, Major.


In the first image in the pool is an actual tire Inner-tube being used as a pool floaty-ring. My family used tire inner-tubes well into the early 1980’s on beach and boat outings. It’s funny to type or refer to the “1980’s” because they seem like they were only a few years ago ..... it’s like referring to the “1880’s”.

It’s always fun to look back at photos of vintage individuals. At the same time it’s a little depressing: who was the lady in the pictures? What are the pictures not with the grandchildren or families ? When Disneyland’s “One of a Kind” antiques was still in New Orleans Square , they used to have these wooded boxes filled with old photographs of people from the the 1800’s and 1900’s. It was always fun to look through but sad to think that all these people we’re once moms and dads , uncles and aunts , brothers and sisters , children and grandparents ..... but so much time had passed there was nobody left to remember who they were- and now they were being sold as novelties at Disneyland for a few dollars each!

JC Shannon said...

When I see photos like this, I always wonder where they were taken and what the subject was thinking. I think this could have been a vacation, or perhaps a weekend getaway. Orrr... She is Svetlana, a Russian spy on a mission to take photos of White Sands Missile Range. She and her contact Anatoly are taking a few photos to back up their cover story when they pass through customs on the way back to Moscow. It turns out that capitalist decadence suited her and she later became a double agent. She finally retired, and now runs a B&B Taos.

Anonymous said...

Love the way that first photo has the lady framed against the mid-mod aluminum patio umbrella!

BTW, it's heroine (with an "e"). Unless...

Chuck said...

Disney was still issuing real inner tubes to guests as they climbed the steps to White Water Rapids at River Country in 1979 (and possibly later; I only visited once). The metal-threaded stem seems wickedly dangerous in today's managed-risk environment, but we didn't think much about it at the time. We just made sure the stem was facing down into the water when we climbed on.

I have vague memories of a sisal diving board cover somewhere in my youth, but I can't quite place it. Honestly hadn't thought about it in years. Score another memory-jogger for good ol' GDB.

K. Martinez said...

I remember using tire inner-tubes in our pool and sometimes those things being black would be too hot to touch if they were left out in the sun. Once they were in the pool though and water splashed on them, they'd cool down and be fine to sit in. I still preferred to actually just swim in our pool though.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-
The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower. Suitable for any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in memory of something that has died. Geez - where to begin... A quote from The Lake, perhaps-? Or better still - from Stage Door-? How's about: It takes all kinds of people to make a world.

Now, who would'a thought in Disney's continuum to 'dumb-down' "The Happiest Place On Earth", a by-product would be the 'honoring of' folks from a by-gone era by simply eliminating them from ever existing-? No need creating disturbing thoughts among guests, when that time could be better spent, well... spending money on other unneeded "collectibles".

@ Chuck & Ken-
Yes, who among us could ever forget the potentially "dangerous" valve stem, lying in wake, just waiting to scratch, or cut into some part of our lower body, right at the height of summertime excitement-? And Disney allowed such litigious behavior-? I'm shocked, shocked-! (Do you suppose Disney provided each stem with the proper, plastic dust cap for added protection-?)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, these photos make one yearn to be in a sunny warm place (even though it is plenty sunny and warm in SoCal!!). I didn’t notice the water spraying into the pool - or that sisal-covered diving board. My mom put some sort of sisal fabric on her walls, I think it looks terrible, but the cat sure loves to scratch it with her claws!

TokyoMagic!, are the canna lilies the red ones or those strange pale yellow ones?

K. Martinez, I knew this would make your day! ;-)

Mike Cozart, we took real inner tubes to the beach, and the lifeguards said they were verboten! Maybe they look too much like a juicy baby seal to white sharks? I know what you mean about looking at old photos - having gone through jillions of slides, I have thought the same thing. But then I think of my own family… grandparents on both sides with boxes and boxes of old photos of people we can’t identify, and too many boxes of slides of people we CAN identify. Nobody has room for all of that stuff in their homes. It’s a bummer, but just the reality of life. I kind of think that this lady and her husband might have been childless, though I can’t say for sure.

Jonathan, I would love to know more info about almost every slide I have; I do think that in photo #1, the happy couple was on vacation. I believe they lived in Illinois, based on some of the other pictures. I like the idea of this lady being a Russian spy; I’ll do whatever she wants!

Anonymous, I’ve certainly made that mistake before. I’ve also used “it’s” when I meant “its”, and “their” when I meant “they’re”. Stay tuned.

Chuck, our family was friends with another family, and they owned a house on a hill with an amazing pool overlooking Los Angeles - two or three times a year they would let us come up to swim. They had three or four real inner tubes to play with, and I can still remember the rubber smell and the squeaky sound of wet skin meeting rubber. Most diving boards I remember had some sort of sandpapery stuff adhered to them.

K. Martinez, I didn’t even think about the black rubber absorbing heat. We also used some sort of blow-up cushions (canvas and rubber), our favorite thing was to jump from the edge of the pool onto the floating cushion and briefly skim across the surface of the water. Or else the edge of the thing would go under water and we would be jettisoned into the pool, head over heels.

Nanook, I can’t think of calla lilies without also thinking of Katharine Hepburn, or at least the Warner Bros. cartoon version of her (“Rally I do!”). I was surprised at Mike Cozart’s memory of vintage photos being sold in the “One of a Kind Shop”… I just assumed that interest in old photos was a relatively new phenomenon. As for the killer inner tube stems - if a person got a scratch from not paying attention, they just figured it was their own darn fault and got on with their lives. Now they would sue!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, the canna lilies are the taller red flowers. I remember that cartoon version of Katherine Hepburn saying "rally" instead of "really."

Nanook, you have it right, it is "calla" lilies and not "canna" lilies. I was just changing it to suit the flowers that are in the photo. And the line is from "Stage Door."

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

OH... I know that line is from Stage Door - one of my favorite film-examples of extreme sarcasm - spoken brilliantly....

Linda Shaw: If you were a little more considerate of your elders, maybe Mr. Powell would send his car for you someday. Of course, he would probably take one look at you and send you right back again, but then you have to expect that.
Jean Maitland: Is that so?
Linda Shaw: Do you know, I think I could fix you up with Mr. Powell's chauffeur. The chauffeur has a very nice car too.
Jean Maitland: Yes, but I understand Mr. Powell's chauffeur doesn't go as far in his car as Mr. Powell does.
Linda Shaw: Even a chauffer has to have an incentive!
Jean Maitland: Well, you should know!

Linda Shaw: May I come in?
Jean Maitland: Oh, sure. I guess you'll be safe. The exterminators won't be here until tomorrow.
Linda Shaw: How did they miss you on their last visit?

Judy Canfield: Do you want a date?
Jean Maitland: To some other lumberman?
Judy Canfield: Am I supposed to apologize for being born in Seattle?
Jean Maitland: Well, the last couple we went stepping with were made of lumber. Especially their feet.
Judy Canfield: All right, all right, you can stay here and gorge yourself on lamb stew again. Hey, Pat, wanna...
Jean Maitland: Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Wait! Is it for dinner?
Judy Canfield: Yes!
Jean Maitland: Well, why didn't you say so before you spoke. That lamb stew has got me counting sheep at night.

Jean: [after watching Terry's trunks being delivered] When does your baggage get here?
Terry: I'm expecting the bulk of it in the morning.
Jean: We could leave the trunks here and sleep in the hall. There's no use crowding the trunks.
Terry: I don't know what we're going to do when the wolfhounds arrive. I hope you don't mind animals.
Jean: Oh, not at all. I've roomed with a great many of them before.
Terry: Yes, I can see that.
Jean: [after smelling Terry's ermine wrap] Fresh kill?
Terry: Yes, I trapped them myself.
Jean: Do you mind if I ask a personal question?
Terry: Another one?
Jean: Are these trunks full of bodies?
Terry: [pointing to two of the trunks] Just those two, but I don't intend to unpack them.
Jean: Well, I was just thinking if the room got too crowded, we could live in the trunks.
Terry: Yes, that's a good idea. You don't mind helping me unpack. Oh, I beg your pardon, you're not the maid, are you? [Terry drapes unpacked articles of clothing over Jean's arm]
Jean: Oh, that's quite all right. What a lovely dress! Whipped up at home by loving hands.
Terry: Every stitch.
Jean: Do you cook too?
Terry: Nothing fancy. Just plain home-cooking.
Jean: I'll bet you could boil a terrific pan of water.
Terry: I see that in addition to your other charms, you have that insolence generated by an inferior upbringing.
Jean: Hmm. Fancy clothes, fancy language and everything.
Terry: Unfortunately, I learned to speak English correctly.
Jean: That won't be of much use to you here - we all speak pig Latin.
Terry: And I use the right knife and fork. I hope you don't mind.
Jean: All you need's the knife.

And on, and on...

Melissa said...

OK, if I didn't know you folks were my people before, all this love for Stage Door would have convinced me. Nanook, I always loved the fact that they gave Ginger Rogers that line about speaking Pig Latin, since she famously sang a verse of "We're in the Money" in Pig Latin in The Golddiggers of 1933.

If I had that lady's looks, I'd make I'd make sure to marry a shutterbug, too! I had a silver belt like that in high school.

Melissa said...

Oh, and we always used real innertubes at Grandma's place on the lake all summer. She had a whole range from little ones to a big tractor tire tube that three or four kids could pile on. *sigh* Memories!!

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Clearly that pig Latin line wasn't lost on me. (And speaking of Gold Diggers of 1933 - that's another depression-era film with sarcasm dripping from every pore. Aline MacMahon just kills me-!)

- Champagne-?
- Indeed-! My doctor recommends it.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, Wow, is that all from memory? If so....very impressive!

Nanook said...


Oh, golly no-! But I did edit one line which I think was mis-quoted. Although, I did just watch Stage Door a couple of weeks ago. That, Gold Diggers of 1933, and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, are three of my go-to films for some of the best that sarcasm has to offer - delivered with such convincing-ease, it’s hard to believe the whole world doesn’t speak in such fashion. (And yes, there are many other examples of brilliant sarcasm created in Hollywood, but I often find myself returning to this trio). I think one reason for the first two is the preponderance of women - who I will happily-argue are much ‘better-equipped’ at sarcasm than most of the ‘other’ sex ever was - certainly back then.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, speaking of women, have you seen the 1939 film, The Women? That's another good one for sarcasm and innuendo. And there isn't one male in the entire film.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

I’ve seen it; I’ve projected it; I own it. Yes, it’s another gem.

Melissa said...

"L'amour, l'amour!"

TokyoMagic! said...

Melissa, "And where does it get you? On the train to Reno!"

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, this is a pretty lady. Both photos are really great. I love the little adobe motel and the canna flowers too. Mom had several colors in our garden at home, red, pink, yellow, orange etc. Very exotic.

My eye did go to the inner tube, right after the lady. All the memories about inner tubes in the water.

Our big deal was tractor tire inner tubes, huge diameter, with a "deadly" valve stem, easily avoided by staying on the right side of the tube. Perfect for a long haul on the river. Yes, those black tubes got quite hot in the summer sun. You splash water on them before getting on. Good memories that the "managed risk" future has eliminated.

I do enjoy the movie dialog commentary, even when unfamiliar. i'm adding all these to my Netflix queue. I had a movie-deprived childhood, I guess. I'm sure my wife has seen all of these.

Thanks for good pics of the world as-it-was.