The art of the story

 In A thought, Projects

I once knew a girl who bought old photos in antiques stores, put them up in her apartment and told people she was related to them. We later had a falling out over her alcoholism and other issues. The last time I saw her was at a small outdoor Grant Lee Buffalo show in Fort Worth. It was 100º easy. This girl was wearing a fur coat and we barely spoke. But, man, could Grant sing, a four octave range even in the Texas heat.

All of that has nothing to do with what I am showing here tonight. These are rather personal for me. They are photos of my grandfather and his friends in El Dorado, Arkansas in the early twenties. After WWI, my grandpa found himself back from the war with no desire to go back home to Chicago. He kicked around the world a bit and ended up married to gramamma with some young friends, a good job in the oil business and a brownie camera in hand. These photos are of a picnic. They tell story of friends having fun and playing in the woods. But, pay close attention to the eye-lines, the expressions, the jealousy. There is a story here or at least the start of one.

So, why do I look at these for images and see that someone is going to be murdered later? That’s my story. Someone is going to die in a fit of rage in later that evening? But, who? Why? Can you see which one is my grandad?

Can you spot the sociopath?

Just think about it and I’ll go on to a single image with a whole lot to unpack.

A few things to note. Grandad with a gun. Two ladies in the shade of a tree and a child behind a tree looking directly at the camera.

I wrote a very short story a couple of years ago looking at this image.

Now, back to the top. Why do I see murder happening?

Before I go any further, you really need to look at the first photos again.


I see really two groups happening here. The one where murder will follow is here.

Because man on the left is too protective of woman on the left. Lets call them left to right – Mary, Frank, Hazel and Jimmy.

Look at Frank’s eyes trying to own Mary. “I’m wooing you dammit!”

She is un-wooed.

She is however impressed by the leap of this man. Let’s call him Floyd.

“Wow, Floyd, you can jump really high!!!”

“Your leap frightens me with its vertical prowess and makes my knees go all wobbly and my bubs go bubbly.”

Which leaves us back with Frank ready to down some giggle water and do a little cutting.

It’s all there, just look. Did you see?

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Showing 4 comments
  • Sofia

    I absolutely loved this blog post. Big fan of deciphering grandpa’s old photos. I would also like to hear a story involving the firecracker of a woman who wore a fur coat in Texas heat someday.

    • KRH

      Thank you. I’m glad you liked and I will post more in the future.

  • Matty Sullivan

    I love the masculine display of his leg cocked up on the fender of the car.

    You’re the Sherlock Holmes of old photographs.

    • KRH

      He’s a man of contradictions. He has that leg up and his jaw is set. He is obviously unhappy with the proceedings, but his hand hangs limp as if to say he is bored by the whole matter.

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