December 3, 2015

Faded Photographs in the Attic?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 10:43 pm




The summer intern was waxing nostalgic about the time in 1960-something there was an opportunity to help lick the whipped cream and strawberries off of a brand new car “It would help my new novel if I could get a photo of that car and that happening at the Longshoreman’s Hall Flux Fest”.

Most people think that the lost art of photo research has been made simple with the invention of the internet-not so!

The WLJ (World’s Laziest Journalist) has encountered one photo of a stunt held in conjunction with the liberation of Paris in WWII.

A cowboy-pilot flew a B-17 through the open legs of the Eiffel Tower. Repeated searches of the internet have been unproductive. Alas and alack, some of the most fascinating photos from the last century are missing from the internet.

Have you seen the photos online that appear to show George HW Bush at Dealy Plaza at the same time as the Kennedy Assassination?

Karla is currently marshaling material for an autobiography and would love to locate a snapshot showing the only time Janis Joplin ever performed in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park, at which she was present without a camera. Does anyone have any picture of Belle Starr with Chet Helms? (Bill Graham? )

Even any photos of Belle with Wavy Gravy would be helpful if any such photos exist. (Is anyone old enough to remember Sergeant Sunshine or any photos in the public domain. (R.I.P. Carol Doda)

For that matter, are General Hershey Bar or General WasteMoreLand still alive? How about the guy with the 5 foot pipe who came to all the love-ins?

In the summer of 1966, the WLJ was employed as a photo librarian  at the Associated Press Headquarters located in Rockefeller Center. The columnist was told that certain men in suits who borrowed some negatives would take them to a special photo lab where gigantic enlargements could be made so that “They” could see and identify people who were lurking on the periphery of anti Viet Nam War demonstrations.

Suddenly the meaning of events in the sixties are becoming crystal clear to the summer intern who exclaimed “That’s my novel.”

A Saint Paul’s vision is “Better late than never!”

Does the pop culture bookstore need another eyewitness account of the sixties?

There can never be enough of them which is why, eventually, the last living hippie will be a popular late night show guest.

After the viewing of a documentary about the Cockettes, the summer intern exclaimed “ No wonder I was not fitting in and my view was from the local not the mainstream media version of the San Francisco scene”. (Are any of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence still living after the demise of “Jack” Sister Boom Boom?)

The WLJ added some historical context with the tale of the WWII influx of discharged gay members of the military who were transported back to San Francisco and dumped there.

(The WLJ photo archives should include some negatives of the Jefferson Airplane performing in Golden Gate Park but unfortunately when an effort was made to shed worldly goods those negatives disappeared. Does anyone have any non-Jim Marshall photos to share?)

Where did the Berkeley Public Library get the image of Grace Slick with Janis Joplin? Is it in the public domain? Probably not.

Images of the anti Viet Nam war parade from Civic Center in San Francisco to Golden Gate Park where Crosby, Stills and Nash played would help spruce up the intern’s novel.

Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe did a marvelous job of describing life in ‘Frisco (the intern says “Don’t ever call it ‘Frisco! But Belle’s memoirs with numerous photo images will give them a run for their money). Belle asked, “Do any literary agents read your columns?”.

Has anyone other than the columnists ever encountered images of a fatal car verses pedestrian encounter that occurred in Paris in 1925?

If this column mentions Eddie Adams’ photo of the Saigon Police Chief shooting a Viet Cong in the head, most readers will be able to recall that particular image.  It would be an easy matter to pirate a copy to use with this column but tracking down the image owners to get permission to use it here would be an impossible bureaucratic task.

Missing snapshots can unlock floodgates of memories. Some of the missing images may surface years from now but novelists can fictionalize the details and proceed quickly to the next chapter.

“Nobody knows the stories we have”, was the summer intern’s explanation for the sudden compulsion to complete her memoirs as a novel. ( It appears that Karla’s campaign for Pot Czar has spawned the ire of Sacramento and the front page of Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle declares the Czar should not be a stoner but a techie. (Why not both? )( Karla was the first attorney in California to file a computer generated pleading.))

Hunter S. Thompson wrote his memoirs as a novel and hence eliminated the time consuming task of having the work fact checked.  Did the WLJ learn anything from H.S.T.?

What good does examining the details and motivations for the anti Viet Nam protest do for today’s audience?  George Santayana said, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it “.

The WLJ and the summer intern expect to provide photo and word coverage of any San Francisco-Berkeley based protest objecting to sending troops and drones to Syria.  Stay tuned!
(While collecting material to be used in this weeks posting we speculated about the feasibility of a convention of /for hippies while they are still alive and can come to it (at the Bill Graham”s Mole Hall Civic Auditorium?))

Now the Disc Jockey will play Fixing to Die Rag, Eve of Destruction and Son of a Bitch.

Have a “Those were the days my friend” kind of week.  AMF


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