Tuesday, April 6, 2010


We tend to think of porches in terms of urban streets, but country folk treasure their porches as well. An extra room, a social location, an interface.

Judging by the clothing, these fall of 1923 photos were taken on three different days.

The sharp edge of the shadow means a bright day but my grandmother's hat which seems to be made of velvet, probably by herself, implies either chilliness or a formal occasion. The effect of her goiter is stronger here. She doesn't look happy and neither does Seth, behind her on the railing in what seems to be either school or church gear. May is wearing her smile and her bow as well as touches of jewelry, which suggests a formal occasion, but black stockings seem to be sort of "second best" as compare with white stockings, esp. when the latter are paired with white shoes. The wire coming down from the roof is grounding for a lightning rod, not a cable television feed.

The boys are in overalls this time, with May all in white and with more of a "hairdo." Florence Henderson is also nicely dressed. Seth on wheels is pretty typical, though when wings were invented he was quick to adapt and his life career was piloting the biggest airplanes. Glenn has a farmer's white forehead from field work wearing a hat. I'm guessing that an event like graduation was at hand. That doesn't explain the beagle-y dog Florence has her arm around and the mop-in-motion that is entertaining everyone.

Now Florence is wearing the same dress as in the previous photo, but May seems to have changed into less formal wear. The shadow has moved down the door a bit and sharpened, as though clouds had cleared. This photo shows the two lightning rods on the roof. (Not TV antennas, though I suppose those might work -- maybe not in a good way.) The dormer window is open, which suggests warm weather is hanging on. This house seems more finished, but not as big as the previous one.

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