I’ve been cleaning house and thought that these old photos showing these fashions would help with period novels.
This photo of my grandfather was taken in 1924 in La Paz Mex. while on his mission for the Mormon church. That, by the way, is not a clip-on bow tie. Back then a gentleman was expected to know how to tie his own tie.
He always wore a suit, as was proper for a businessman of the period. This not only made him look successful but possibly moneyed, which helped to attract the ladies.
This was taken in the 40s. Not long before he joined what was still the Army Air Forces. Note the Letterman’s jacket -which he wore even in 100° weather- with the baggie pants and loafers. She, of course, wore a conservative dress. (This was probably taken before a school dance)
This last one was taken in the early 60s, but these ladies had dressed this way… practically forever. This was typical of the way “proper” older ladies, especially those from conservative mid-west backgrounds, were expected to dress, but… Is it just me? or do they all look like they’re about to attend a funeral?
As a side note:
I Googled my mother looking for her obituary, and the search returned “find this person” results, all of which told me that she was 87 and living at one of our old addresses. -She died at 78.
My brother was listed as 56 -still alive. He died in his early 40s.
My sister was listed as 63 -still alive. She died in her 30s.
My point is; no one verifies this data. Once it’s in the computer the person might as well be immortal. So if you’re searching for someone, take the results with a grain of salt and don’t give the site any money unless you’ve run out of other ideas.
When looking for inspiration I often head over to Deviant Art, where I found this character traits meme.
(Cick on the picture and it will take you to the original site where you can find a much larger version.)
If you take the time to visit Deviant Art you’ll find they not only have several sheets for character traits, they have an entire section of writing tutorials.
I was looking for story prompts when I remembered these old family photos and thought they might serve as the core of a story. Or perhaps a nice little side story to flesh out a character.
This lot is from Dock Marston’s “first ever outboard motorboat run of Grand Canyon” in 1951.
From the Wikipedia:
Dock next turned to the question of outboard motors. In 1951, he orchestrated the first successful down-run of outboard motorboats through the entire Grand Canyon. The 1951 “Marston Motorcade” consisted of two outboard motorboats and three stock Chris-Craft Speedsters. The 18-foot aluminum hull outboard motorboat June Bug was piloted by Jimmy Jordan and the second boat of the same design, the Twin, was piloted by Rod Sanderson. The two outboards were powered by twin 25-horsepower Evinrude outboard motors. While the June Bug completed the cruise, not far below Separation Canyon, the gearshift on the motor of the Twin gave trouble,and the boat was taken in tow, much to the disgust of its crew.
My grandfather was a friend of Jimmy Jordan so he talked them into letting him come along as a cook. Of course, this was back when travel down the Grand Canyon was unheard of so it was a great adventure. Now there are so many people going down the canyon that they need a toll booth.
We were looking for inspiration when we decided to photograph things at random and use that.
This is a room where I’ve been replacing some flooring and installing a ceiling fan. Hence the wood scraps and wires.
As strange as it sounds coming from a guy, I wanted to make the bed and clean up the mess. But she vetoed the idea, she says the mess makes the room look lived in.
Lived in, by some homeless guy maybe.
At any rate, here are the two photos.
Cluttered room in sepia.
Possibly a low rent loft lived in by a musician. At least he has a window.
Same room, same clutter, image inverted.
Through the eyes of a serial killer?
So here we have our inspiration. One room in sepia daylight, and one dolled up like a low budget special effect.
She sent them off to a former writing instructor who liked them. It seems that his poor defenseless students are about to be stuck with these two choices.
On the other hand, if you’re an aspiring writer and you can’t make a tale from any image, perhaps you should keep your day job.
For my part, I’m not sure I need inspiration, so much as to get my characters to cut to the chase and quit sounding like Marc Anthony in Julius Cesar.