I'll let the photos and the Iowa newspaper clippings tell the story. All I know is this man's name was Jim Saunders and he was a salesman for Dr. Bakers products. If you do a google search you'll find a lot of Dr. Bakers so it's hard to discern if the ones in the news clippings below are all about salesmen for the same company.

This is my selection for Sepia Saturday. Though not in sync with this week's prompt, I'm willing to bet there were plenty of sales reps nearby hoping to entice some of the fair attendees to sample their wares.

Either way, enjoy medicine the way it used to be. No insurance required. No cures guaranteed.

Click on images to see them larger.

Algona Courier, Sep. 27,1895

Quad City Times, Oct.11, 1879

Des Moines Register, May 22, 1887

Opinion Tribune, Dec. 10, 1896

Sioux Valley News, Feb. 6. 1902

Sioux Valley News, Sep. 7, 1905

Greene Recorder, April 1, 1908

Greene Recorder, Mar. 22, 1922



it's hot outside! I'm not kidding. It was 111.4 today. Time to find a puddle or a pond to sit in. Just sit. Do nothing. Just sit. Wait for the evening when it drops down to...85. Yup, it's going to be good sleeping tonight.

But it's a dry heat.

Click on images to see them larger.

Just getting into the swim with this week's Sepia Saturday. Someone hand me a cold one. A block of ice would do.


The SERIOUS FAMILIES little dancer

If you've been visiting this place the past few years you will be aware of the Serious Family consisting of a mother and three children. To see the other posts click on the word "serious" in the labels below.

Here I give you the lovely little daughter in some sort of costume. I'm guessing it was for a dance recital, but I'm open to other suggestions.

It was nice finding one of the children again.

Click on image to see it larger.


The FIREMEN and the DOG

Looking at this week's Sepia Saturday prompt had me scratching my head until I went to an estate sale today. The sale had started yesterday so I didn't have much hope that anything interesting—in my mind—would be there on the second day. I smiled when I found a frame in the garage in a box of junk that contained four interesting photos. This was the one that most caught my eye and I knew immediately I had my contribution for this week.

When I looked at this week's prompt my first thought was a lantern and smoke. Seriously, the dog was the second thing I noticed. I'm easily distracted by my own thoughts. Where there's smoke there's fire. So I give you firemen from long ago with their fire house dog. Think of him as a dalmatian with really big dark spots.

Click on images to see them larger.

I have no idea where this shot was taken. There are a lot of towns named Hastings so I'm clueless as to where this might have been taken. 

As to the wild beast in the darkness behind them. Looks like some sort of weird insect monster. Nah, just the fire wagon waiting for the horses to be attached and the race to the next fire.

Now, I want to apologize to my fellow Sepians for something that happened several weeks ago. I visited all the sites for those who had posted for Sepia Saturday 371. I left messages and went on my way. Later that night I discovered only two of my messages actually posted. I've had this happen many times and it's frustrating. Often I have gone back and tried to remember what I'd said so I could comment again. This time I didn't. I have no idea why this happens and I hate that I end up looking like a deadbeat who doesn't participate. I'm sorry. Hopefully this time I'll get through without incident. I'm wondering if anyone else has this happen. 


Once upon a time there was A BOXER NAMED MARCUS VASQUEZ

This is a repost from several years ago that most won't have seen. In keeping with the man with the box for Sepia Saturday I give you boxer Marcus Vasquez. All I ever found about him is below.

You'd think that starting with "Once upon a time..." I'd have a fairytale to tell. No, just an old picture of a lightweight boxer named Marcus Vasquez wearing an apron. Seriously, I have no idea what is going on or how this photo eventually ended up in my hands.

"To a Swell Kid Marcus Vasquez.
From your manager Ben Marcus"

Marcus Vasquez appears to have fought his first professional bout on Dec. 21, 1948 against Cadilla Clemmons at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. He won the fight. From then on he fought around Southern California, up to San Jose on March 22, 1949, over to Arizona for several fights, even down to Chihuahua, Mexico on Feb. 8, 1950; he lost that fight to Al Lopez.

According to the online information I've found, Marcus had 17 wins, 19 losses, and 7 draws with a total of 197 rounds fought. The last fight listed was on July 7, 1952 to Maxie Docusen in San Antonio, Texas. Marcus lost and is listed as TKO.

So, was this the end of Marcus Vasquez as a fighter? I cannot find any other information about him.

As to the fellow on the left, his manager, Ben Marcus, I cannot find anything about him other than he worked in the Los Angeles area.

I don't know, but my mind spins when I look at this shot with the inscription and I'm sucked into the world of Raymond Chandler and this little scrap of paper is evidence in a murder. I can't say truthfully anything one way or the other. It is what it is and it will forever be a mystery unless some person with knowledge of the world of boxing in Los Angeles in the late '40s to early '50s steps forward to fill in the missing pieces to the story.

For now, I'm riding in my old Buick on a warm summer night along Sunset, hoping I can run a few red lights without getting caught as I try to make my way to a mysterious meeting in Los Feliz. It began with this photo stuffed inside my morning paper with a note that read, "9:40, Jerry's, Los Feliz. Come alone."

UPDATE: I found this image for sale online at a boxing memorabilia site. This shows that Marcus was in an undercard fight on September 9, 1949 at the Hollywood Legion Stadium.


I looked up "undercard" and found the following:
The undercard, or preliminary matches (sometimes preliminary card), consists of preliminary bouts that occur before the headline or "main event" of a particular boxing, professional wrestling, horse racing, auto racing, or other sports event. (In auto racing, however, the term "support race" occurs more commonly.) Typically, promoters intend the undercard to provide fans with an opportunity to see up-and-coming fighters or fighters not so well known and popular as their counterparts in the main event. The undercard also ensures that if the main event ends quickly fans will still feel that they received sufficient value for the price of their admission. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Marcus, I fear, is lost to history other than this post.


The UNKNOWN Couple

Found this a few weeks ago in a dollar bin. It's very damaged so I ran a filter to "fix" it enough to view because I want you all to decide if it's a man or a woman on the right. Both have rouge on their cheeks thanks to someone thinking that was necessary. And actually, without the fix of the shot the details aren't as easy to see.

So two guys hanging around or a guy and a gal? I'm thinking they headed west to seek their fortune and found Northern California to their liking. How they ended up in a dollar bin is a whole other story.

Click on image to see it larger.



With this week's Sepia Saturday as a prompt I'm reminded of one of my favorite photos from my book Tattered and Lost: The Quiet Art of Reading. I have no information about this woman who long ago chose to sit at the base of this tree and read, but I understand the lure.

In the summer I like to sit in the shade, hear a light breeze rustling the leaves, and enjoy reading outside. Of course I usually fall asleep.

Click on images to see them larger.




Coming or going, it's never a sure thing when a person was aboard a Matson liner wearing leis. You got them when you arrived in Hawaii and then again when you left.

Click on image to see it larger.

This family appears to have been visiting Hawaii in the 1930s which means that they were doing pretty well back on the mainland and not suffering through the Depression. Arriving in Hawaii aboard a Matson ship meant they stayed at one of two hotels: the Royal Hawaiian or the Moana. This photo was taken by Luke Photo Studio located at 1240 Nuuanu St, Honolulu. I'm guessing that this indicates it was probably taken upon arrival and sold to them during their stay. You can find another photo here from the same studio name.

From the Matson website:
The decade from the mid-20s to mid-30s marked a significant period of Matson expansion. In 1925, the company established Matson Terminals, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, to perform stevedoring and terminal services for its fleet. With increasing passenger traffic to Hawaii, Matson built a world-class luxury liner, the S.S. Malolo, in 1927. At the time, the Malolo was the fastest ship in the Pacific, cruising at 22 knots. Its success led to the construction of the luxury liners Mariposa, Monterey and Lurline between 1930 and 1932. Matson’s famed “white ships” were instrumental in the development of tourism in Hawaii. In addition, beginning in 1927, with the construction of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Matson’s Waikiki hotels provided tourists with luxury accommodations both ashore and afloat. In order to generate excitement and allure for Hawaii as a world class tourist destination, Matson developed an ambitious and enduring advertising campaign that involved the creative efforts of famous photographers such as Edward Steichen and Anton Bruehl. In addition, Matson commissioned artists to design memorable keepsake menus for the voyages, as well as during their stay at the Royal Hawaiian. The Matson artwork created by Frank McIntosh, Eugene Savage, John Kelly and Louis Macouillard continues to be popular today. Reproductions of the some of the more famous and memorable ads and art can be purchased through Matson’s ArteHouse website. (Source: Matson)
Our local Costco occasionally sells orchids leis. I'm always tempted to buy one. Living in Hawaii was a world full of flowers. I miss the colors and the scents. Oh to have a white ginger plant growing outside my window with its scent drifting through the window with the trade winds.


Off to WAR

This is the weekend we in the U.S. honor those who have fallen victim to the follies of old men far from the front. I'm not one to say that war is never required, but it should be the very last option, never the first.

This photo shows a line of men about to be sent off to fight in World War I. On either side of them is full on flag waving patriotism. It's easy to wave the flag when you're not the one carrying it into battle.

Click on images to see them larger.

How many of these young men returned unscathed? How many suffered with nightmares for the rest of their lives and the label "shell shocked"? They were labeled as being weak, unmanly for not just getting on with their lives. The war was over, let it go. It took a long time for humanity as a whole to understand the mental damage done by war and be willing to openly talk about it and give it a name: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

So as we celebrate those who have passed don't forget to look around for the walking wounded amongst us. Those old men, still far from the front, continue to make life decisions for those they'll never meet.

I will be spending part of this Memorial Day with a group of World War II veterans. So few of these veterans are left and I know of many who still refuse, or cannot, talk of what they saw and did, let alone what happened to them. Their stories are dying with them and they will soon be forgotten.

Memorial Day is not just about BBQ's and good sales.

This post is my completely off topic contribution to Sepia Saturday.


BIG WHEEL Keep on Turnin'

Anyone have any idea what sort of boat he might be steering? And I'm guessing he's actually holding part of the braking system.




Some people come by it naturally. Others try but give up. And then there are those who keep trying when they seriously need to find something else to do.

Being a performer is not in the grand scheme for must of us. However, the shiny lights often draw us in as children before we become embarrassed by everything. I took ballet and hula dancing as a child. I had dreams of Broadway, but I would have never made it. But that little spark burns ever so slightly inside and I instead do my performances with the clerk at the store. Give me a smile and a laugh and my day is made.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday this week...late.




Take a little time to read this wonderful article at the NY Times about an old photo album. It's exactly what a collector of vintage photos dreams of.



As per this week's Sepia Saturday prompt, and a celebration of women as the world sees women gathering in great numbers to have their voices be heard today—and every day—I give you a lone photographer from long ago.

This image is partially why I started this blog.

I purchased a photo album at an estate sale in 2008. I arrived at the sale quite late and figured I was out of luck. But there on the edge of a coffee table was an old intact photo album of a journey two fellas took across country around 1913. It included a typed diary and lots of photos. Nothing spectacular about the album, especially at the $50 asking price. But then I saw this photo, very tiny near the back. It had nothing to do with the travel diary and was amongst a few photos that had been added long after the trip was over. I had to have this photo. As some inanimate objects do, it spoke to me.

I chose this photo to be the image that represents my identity for Tattered and Lost. It is even the cover shot for my first book. Over the years I have begun seeing myself as that woman on the beach with her skirt hiked up into breeches, the waves rolling in around her feet, the people farther down the beach watching the horizon. I would have been that woman had I lived back then. And so now she is me.

She is viewing the world through her lens. I like to think she took this photo, but have no proof of that.

The reality is that someone was taking a photo of her when she was taking this photo. That photo we will never see. I like to think these women took these poses, feeling free enough to be themselves, because they felt safe with who was taking the shot.

It's a good day to celebrate women. We are not lesser than, we are equal to no matter what anyone believes. And we're not going back.


Always Find the HUMOR

I think this is the longest I've ever been away from this blog. Family health problems filled my holidays with the necessities in life. And now it's a new year and we are facing the end of the world as we know it on Friday and....

We have to look for the humor in everything. No matter how dark the clouds seem we have to hunt for, not the silver lining, but the funny faces in the clouds. Find humor no matter how incredibly insane it all might seem. I mean, look at those wispy clouds blowing in all directions and what do you think of? Orange hair? A hairline that lies as much as the flotsam and jetsam that come out of his mouth?

I wish I knew who these fellas were from my dad's squadron in World War II, but he cannot put names to the faces. But I like the fella with the hat turned to the side in a moment of silliness. And I really like the effort the fella walking away put in to creating that magnificent sweat stain butterfly on his back. That took some serious effort!

Find the humor and then rejoice in it.

Click on image to see it larger.