We’ve Been Having Fun All Summer Long

Swim006

Is it me or does the guy on the right look as if he could be the great-grand-kin of Ron Swanson? So manly, standing like Moses parting the Red Sea, except in his unblemished white skivvies. And the prissy guy on the far left has his hands clasped at his knees like a modest young woman, his polar opposite.

The grimacing fellow in the middle reminds me of all of those old west outlaw pics. Perhaps it’s because he’s in frisk position, he’s donning stripes, and his hands look cuffed. It was the mid 80s (1880s that is), too early to be Clyde Barrow, though I thought of him. Quick fact about the idiot from the infamous Bonnie and Clyde: when Clyde was serving time in Eastham Prison Farm, he severed his left big toe and a portion of a second toe with an axe, in the hopes of forcing a transfer to a less harsh facility. Good thinkin’, Clyde.

And did you know Bonnie died, still wearing her wedding ring to her husband, Roy Thornton, not Clyde The Toe Amputee? Yep. Per www.history.com,  she had a tattoo on the inside of her right thigh with two interconnected hearts labeled “Bonnie” and “Roy.” No Clyde on that dead 23-year-old thigh. Ew.

Here’s the other half of the picture from The Newport Historical Society.

Swim004I know; the dude airing out his bloomers could be some hipster character from Portlandia. Au contraire. Turns out he’s Horatio B. Wood, a member of the Sons of Temperance, an amateur photographer, and a church organist. At least, that’s what my book American Album, says. The internet says he doesn’t exist. Conspiracy? Oh, well. At least you are seeing him in all his vested, bespectacled glory. Both women have closed their eyes,unable to behold all of the glory. Do you blame them?

 

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19 comments

  1. My eyes. Are you sure this isn’t from an 1880 version of Punked? Those guys can’t be for real;can they. In that top pic no one seems to want to even be in the same vicinity with the others. The harpooner in the baseball undies, aloof and above the hoi paloi. The convict at ease or the Nancy boy looking out to sea, searching for his special little boat. At least the women are relaxed and unposed. Is the one in the foreground suppressing a grin? As for the second one. Those are women?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There was great consternation for these the mid-1880s folk, Kerbey, and I do not know if it was about the clothing, the camera, the company they kept or all of the above. I would not have wanted to be there, no way, no how. Great book find, my friend. By the way, was Bonnie’s Roy the judge?

    Liked by 1 person

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