Whatever outrages you the most in this shot determines your character.
- For me, it’s clearly Ottoman Head in the middle bottom row. I could plant my rump on that hair and sit a spell.
- For others, it may be the fact that these members of the Sachem Literary Society (and there were two pages of them) were all dressed in minks. Maybe you don’t like the top of the food chain to wear coats made of the animals at the bottom. I will say I wouldn’t mind wrapping myself in one right now during this frosty season, especially since those minks died around 1964. I’m just saying Nature provides for a bi-polar vortex, that’s all.
- If you were my cousin, your jaw would be dropping in a WTH response at poor Mary and Martha Russell being shoved into one frame to share it. And it’s not as though there wasn’t space on the page. There is an entire 3″x7″ blank spot right next to this–plenty of room for any sets of twins to have their own unshared portrait and own unique identity. What was the thinking on the part of the editorial staff here? Well, they look the same, so why bother taking two pictures? Who needs to see that face twice?
Perhaps I’m being presumptive; perhaps it was their own idea. Maybe they feel a connection as twins and wanted a “group” shot. Or perhaps they are really
Siamese conjoined twins, unable to separate, much less turn around and face each other. Like the two women below. But even if that were the case, I don’t understand why they couldn’t take a picture of each woman and crop the other out. They shouldn’t have to share a square. Or a rectangle, as it were.
I should end the post right here. But dangit, I can’t. Conjoined twins are fascinating. So I’m going to go off on a tangent. Close this out if you are in a hurry.
Don’t you have questions about their hygiene, marriage, clothing, sleeping conditions–things all the unconjoined of us take for granted? I do. Imagine sitting right where you are, typing on your laptop with a person attached to you. And he has to use the restroom. Or he’s hungry. Or he has a fever, which you may well soon get.
Quick history lesson on the Carolina Twins above: Millie McCoy and Christine McCoy (July 11, 1851 – October 8, 1912) were born to slaves, and sold by their owner, Jabez McKay, at TEN MONTHS of age to a South Carolina man, who agreed to pay McKay a percentage of the earnings he made, exhibiting them at state fairs. The “two-headed nightingale” was sold twice more until 1863, when it/they earned their freedom. But don’t be sad; a wealthy merchant named Joseph Smith reunited the girls with their mother, Monemia. Mr. Smith and his wife then provided the twins with an education and taught them to speak five languages, dance, play music, and sing (thanks,wikipedia).
Eventually, they bought the plantation where their parents had originally worked as slaves. They still exhibited themselves, but on their own terms.
What still bothers me on this license is the fact that they are referred to as a “two-headed woman” named Millie Christine, instead of two separate people. They are actually two women, not one woman. Two brains, two hearts, two souls with separate thoughts and emotions. Now you see where Full House got the idea to bill “Mary Kate Ashley Olson” as one person, instead of giving credit to both actresses.
Perhaps that billing contributed to the mystique of the commodity they were selling. Perhaps they were only counted as one person on the census. Whatever the reason, I’m certain that Hayley Mills would not have approved.
P.S. I found the Russell twins on another page in the yearbook. Not conjoined.