Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Girl in the Outhouse

For those of you who follow me on Tumblr, you know that I'm somewhat obsessed at the moment with vintage photographs depicting men and friendship. I love how the pictures create and intimate connection in the present with relationships of the past.

I almost passed by this image without noticing the story it told. At first glance, the two men--perhaps father and son--are getting a portrait taken. Based on their dress the image suggests it's circa 1860s. There are lots of family photos from that era--perhaps fathers wanting to capture a moment with their son's prior to departing to fight in the Civil War. I've read that most soldiers carried a photo of their family with them in their personal effects.

Look closely behind the door of the structure. Peaking out from behind a wooden door is a little girl that turns this ordinary picture into something extraordinary. Her story, like that of the two men, will never be known. Perhaps she snuck herself into the image marveling at the ability of a photographer capturing an image. Maybe she knew her father was about ready to leave for war--and might never return.

Absent of any details that can be verified, we are left to let the picture speak to us on our own. There she stands behind these too men, glancing out at us from the past reminding us of moments that have passed.

For more images of vintage men and their relationships (some gay, some straight) visit: Two Men and Their DogAdam and Steve in the Garden of Eden: On Intimacy Between MenA Man and His DogThe Beasts of West PointVintage Men: Innocence Lost | The Photography of William GedneyIt's Only a Paper Moon;Vintage Gay America: Crawford BartonThese Men Are Not Gay | This Is Not A Farmer | DisfarmerDesire and Difference: Hidden in Plain SightCome Make Eyes With Me Under the Anheuser BushHugh Mangum: Itinerant PhotographerTwo men, Two PosesPhotos are Not Always What They Seem,Vintage Sailors: An Awkward RealizationThree Men on a HorseWelkom Bar: Vintage Same Sex MarriagePretty in Pink: Two Vintage Chinese MenMemorial Day Surprise: Vintage Sailor LoveMemorial Day: Vintage Dancing SailorsThe Curious Case of Two Men EmbracingThey'll Never Know How Close We WereVintage Love: Roger Miller Pegram,Manly Affections: Robert GantHomo Bride and Groom Restored to DignityThe Men in the TreesThe Girl in the OuthouseTommy and Buzz: All My Love,Men in Photo Booths, and Invisible: Philadelphia Gay Wedding c. 1957. You can also follow me on Tumblr.

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