January 30, 2010

Saturday Snapshots: January 30, 2010

“I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.” ~ J.D. Salinger

{Striding purposefully down the street in 1940, a mother and her daughter cover ground in Dallas, Texas during their annual trip to the (big) city, according to the interesting background information provided by the younger woman’s daughter who uploaded this great shot.}

{The sign that most every North American child – and quite possibly a large number of adults who have never been to Disneyland before – dream of one day finally being able to see in person, snapped through a car window sometime during 1957.}

{For anyone who has held fast to the art of film photography, or who ever enjoyed snapping the old school way, the shop these two smiling fellows are standing must appear to be stocked with photographic manna from (Kodak) heaven (the fact that this snap itself was shot on Kodachrome ups its coolness factor many more watts).}

{Though this woman is the only living subject matter in the shot, something about her pensive gaze instantly makes us feel as though there’s someone else present with her. Was she waiting on a friend? Annoyed with beau, concerned about a child, or simply late for an appointment? One look at those apprehensive eyes and you can just tell something was weighing heavily on this lady’s mind when this candid snapshot was taken in 1937.}

{Two sweetly dressed woman lay out a tasty picnic spread (closer inspection reveals popcorn, beer, olives, and milk amongst their vittles for the day), some of which was likely transported in that iconic, wonderfully chipper plaid basket, in this sun-kissed shot from 1954.}

{Here we see a young couple carrying a hefty sized dog into the kitchen, however no background information whatsoever is provided, so it falls to us to try and figure out what the story was here. Had the dog been injured? Just been brought home for the first time? Or did the pair simply want a snapshot to either share of tuck away in their album that included their beloved pouch, too?}

{A trio of women, each one of which sports a deeply lovely outfit, lean against a metal fence in this wonderful 1940s image that capture both the ladies’ beauty and that of the bucolic Spanish hills behind them.}

{If you’re not fortunate enough to live in a climate that is currently capable of allowing you to don short sleeves and go barefoot, live your warm weather dreams vicariously through summery vintage snapshots such as this image of a group of folks tucking into a meal under the palm trees (note the fabulous metal Airstream-esque campers visible in the background).}

{There’s such an endearingly heart warming quality to this candid shot of a woman and child engaged in spinning around in circles, hands clasped together as they twirl on a rooftop, that makes it the sort of image that stays happily in your mind well after today has come and gone.}

{Long before this location lent itself to one of MTV’s many “real world” shows, a photographer in 1952 with a terrific eye, elegantly captured the sublime natural beauty of this corner of California as dusk began to roll in over the waters of the Pacific Ocean below.}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective Flickr page.}

This week’s quote has always brought a rather wide grin to my face, though on the one hand it comes across as being a touch cynical, I think there’s something deeply comforting about the notion that any given moment someone out there could be doing something to bring me happiness (or that I could be doing something joy-giving unbeknownst to a person that I care about). Yet, I chose today’s quote based more on the fact that it belongs to J.D. Salinger, one of the finest contemporary writers of the twentieth century, who passed away this week at the venerable age of 91.

Salinger was a brilliant writer, and while his work was sometimes viewed as controversial, J.D. himself was well known for his reclusive – perhaps even misunderstood – nature (a point in which I could not help but feel a tinge of kinship with the man who penned The Catcher in the Rye). Like many I discovered Salinger during my teen years at a time when the melancholic, isolated, self-reflective first person narrative of Catcher was all too easy to relate to.

Though Salinger lived a complex life, producing work which to this day is still viewed as contentious in some circles, over all I feel the merit of his evocative writing will enshrine his name in the annals of time. This week however, one thing is clear: the proverbial literary flame burns a little dimmer without Jerome David Salinger in this world.


  1. Hi Jessica, I must be one of the few people who simply don't enjoy Salinger's work but I do love your blog. It's always enjoyable seeing what vintage photographs you've showcased.

  2. I just love the picnic shot!! Looks like such a fun day :-)
    Enjoy your weekend!

  3. I like the first one, my mom has some of her walking on the street from the 70's. Oh and the one before last is just precious!

  4. As always I enjoyed your Saturday Snapshots! You find the greatest and most interesting photos :)

    I loved the quote at the beginning. I too was deeply saddened about the death of the brilliant J.D. Salinger. I too read Catcher in the Rye as a teen and was moved by and could identify with the character of Holden Caufield. It remains one of my favorite books to this day.

  5. Now that was a trip back in time!
    Blessings, andrea

  6. Another great set! Love the last one!!

  7. Love the girls going on the picnic lunch. So cute, as well as the other photographs. Have a wonderful weekend, Jessica!

    Best Wishes,

  8. Wow wee, great post, all that detail, thought & consideration. My didn't they dress beautifully in the 40-60's.
    We live in the heat this time of year, so i'm currently sleeveless & barefoot, just in from the garden. Love Posie

  9. Hello Jessica,

    I love the Disneyland sign! All of them are great though. I wanted to come over to say "hello" and to say I've missed visiting....seems life has me too busy these days and I'm not keeping up with my blog friends the way I want too.

    Life seems to have thrown us a few curve balls this year. (already) hehe..:0)

    Hope you are feeling well and enjoying your days. I'll be back soon.
    Hugs, Stephanie

  10. Lovely post! The photos are--as always--so much fun and well-chosen. (That photo of the couple holding the big dog tickles me!) And I love the Salinger quote you chose. I loved Salinger's books as a younger person, and I am now moved to re-read them. I'm curious how my older self will feel about them.

  11. I live in Dallas, so of course I love that first photo best! I'm still trying to figure out where exactly that is in downtown. And that picnic shot is priceless.

  12. Jessica, I LOVE your Blog! I am going to fix a cup of coffee and come back soon - what FUN! I just added your Widget to my Sidebar, come take a peek, it looks fabulous and fits right in :) - Happy Sunday to you, Sher

  13. Love the spinning in circles shot. So precious!

  14. magnifiques! j'adore celle avec le panier pique nique !
    bisou passe une bonne semaine

  15. Lovely snapshots Jessica. I was reminded that I still have yet to read The Catcher in the Rye. Hope you had a wonderful weekend sweetheart! xoxo

  16. I love the Disneyland shot. So happy! And the picnic one is making me wish for summer days.


  17. As a Disneyland nerd, I *love* that billboard shot--I've been trying to figure out where it could have been taken.

    I have a feeling those gals in Dallas aren't very cold, they just take any excuse to wear a fur and scrumptious coats. :D

  18. I've been having flashes of spring fever the last few days, I loved seeing these warm weather pics. Great selecton of photos!

  19. Always lovely, and what I wouldn't give to have that precious plaid picnic basket! Hope you are doing well!
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

  20. Hello my darling gal :) Hope you are feeling better. I have been on blogland hiatus the past couple of days..eh lack of blog creativity ;) lovely lovely pics! I love the shot of the fellas in the camera shop, gotto love that Kodakchrome! and I love the gals holding a picnic. What an interesting selection of picnic goodies...Milk? hmm..maybe they someone brought a baby? :) Sending you hugs dahling..


  21. The ladies by the bridge and the spinning pair are my fave shots. Such happiness!

    I love the quote too - I'm always wondering what will make me smile today...