Despite the difficulty of choosing just one photograph for the 4th edition of Smile for the Camera, I decided to choose this one of my grandfather, on the left, and his as yet unidentified compadre.
What in the world were these guys doing? I was very surprised when my dad’s cousin gave me this picture of her “Uncle Thad.” I’d never seen anything remotely like it in all the family pics I’d perused. I love the seam down the front of his left leg–looks like it was sewn with twine. This makes me know for sure he wasn’t married at this time because my grandmother would have mended this cut? tear? rip? so that it would have been invisible. They married in December 1913 in Lubbock, Texas.
My grandad was a character, I think. When I knew him in the 1950s and 1960s, he smoked unfiltered Old Gold cigarettes, drank black coffee, and walked across two rooms to kick the television if it wasn’t getting good reception. And liked it just a little too much if my brothers and I, or even my parents and I, got into any sort of disagreement.
I think part of the attraction of this photo for me is that this is a part of my granddad’s life I never knew about, but he looks like such a guy–posing with is cane knife (I think) with a rip in his overalls. As I’ve blogged about previously, there are formal studio photos of all of his siblings, but not of him. Clowning around with a knife was evidently what it took to get him into the studio.