“Born To Be Wild“; U. S. 1929. “Are you not entertained?” – Gladiator (2000). Maybe it’s just that I have been watching the film recently for the umpteenth time. Not only is it a great film, in my opinion, but relevant to today’s conversation. As you may know I was a high school Social Studies teacher in my former life. Before classes began each day at about 8 o’clock in the morning the department held an informal discussion about the day’s events over breakfast. Our department had many talented and perhaps overqualified teachers including several with Ph.Ds and law degrees. They represented the full spectrum of opinions from liberal to conservative.
I cannot think of a scenario in which a farm auction held in any time period is a joyful experience for the owner of the farm. Whether caused by environmental or financial circumstances or even death of the farmer the auction represents the end of an era for that individual farm. Those who attend the auction may find some real bargains, but there is a great sadness attached to these events. An estate sale is similar in that a person’s life can be seen by the material items left behind. What was important to this individual is on display. But in the case of a farm auction the sheer magnitude of the farm and farm implements, buildings and the people attending make for dramatic photojournalism.
Research on this photo leads us to the following assessment. This man is a migrant fruit picker in a camp in Washington State c. 1935. Known as ‘fruit tramps” these men traveled to Washington State to pick mainly apples most likely near Yakima. Such was life for many men during the Great Depression. Clearly the time of day was beer o’clock (Aussie slang).
A crime scene in Babylon, New York. Newsday (April 6, 2018) reported the discovery of decomposed human remains along North Railroad Avenue between Ralph Avenue and Livingston Avenue in Babylon, New York. Newsday provided only one photo with the report so we decided to give more coverage to this crime scene. The body was discovered along this quiet, suburban street which is somewhat isolated. To the south of the Long Island Railroad tracks is Hoffman (Railroad) Avenue, and a few blocks to the north is Park Avenue. Both of those are thru streets and are well traveled. North Railroad Avenue by contrast is mostly only frequented by the residents who live there.
To close out our blogs for February we bring you a February event from the past. Here is something that you will not see too often. The eruption of Eldfell Volcano on an island off the southwest coast of Iceland bought out firemen in a “Lava Cooling Operation“; Heimaey, Iceland (February 7, 1973) in an attempt to try and stem the flow of the threatening lava. DPI pays homage to the great, Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado as we believe that this photo represents his style of work. In this photo firemen are spraying seawater on the steaming lava.
Following in a long line of western lawmen stands this “Lawman a/k/a The Marshal“; Plainville, Kansas (1920). This is the companion photo to “House Auction” which has previously been published by DPI. What is most interesting is that Plainville is quite near to Dodge City, Kansas. You have to wonder if he was ever in a gunfight.
Long Island, New York (1988). High School Super Bowl wannabees. If they play well the scouts will notice. The dream starts here. Then again, “The Four Horsemen“; U. S. (1924) might disagree.
Listen to DPI’s live radio broadcast of January 20 on our Facebook page: https://facebook.com/dispatchpressimages. Also available on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dispatchpress. Follow the instructions. Our thanks go out to Alan Diskin for giving us the opportunity to reach his listeners on “Radio Rewound” and to the staff at WETR.
DPI announces a new feature on our Facebook page. We have created a discussion group/forum designed to answer questions related to photography and/or Dispatch Press Images. This is a public group so virtually any postings are possible including photos. We encourage our viewers to participate. Simply click on “Visit Group” or go to “Groups” to access the Mailbag.
A return to Dien Bien Phu, scene of the Vietminh victory over the French as told by Dermot McGrath. McGrath takes us into General Giap’s headquarters where the operation was planned. A museum depicting the Vietminh victory over the French has been created. A map showing the location of Dien Bien Phu illustrates just how the French forces were cut off from any hope of rescue. Today, following what the North Vietnamese had called the American War their government is very friendly to the United States. I would argue that this is due in part to their brief border war with China following the U. S. withdrawal. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Vietnam needs protection from any future Chinese aggression as China has claimed several island in the South China Sea formerly considered to be Vietnamese territory.
McGrath’s photo essay can be seen in its entirety on DPI.