There is a certain amount of melancholy in old photos of any kind – the subjects may now be dead, now older and less able, now older and less attractive, at places that are no longer recognisable or for countless other reasons. For photobooth photos the melancholy is in all that, plus sometimes in the mystery of how such photos (particularly more recent ones) find their way onto web auction sites.
This is definitely the most melancholy of all the photos in my collection. Someone has created a personal in memoriam card from newspaper clippings, a piece of clear plastic and a photobooth photo.
According to a local newspaper from Hagerstown Maryland, The Daily Mail, (dated the 12th of March, 1956, page 2), Junior Betson was the third fatality in what must have been an horrific accident. From the information above, his injuries were extensive. The incident took place on the 4th of March. He managed to hold on for seven days but died on the 11th.
To me Junior (he was never meant to live long with that moniker, was he?) looks older than his twenty two years. He appears to be a Rebel Without A Cause in attitude, hairstyle and dress. Maybe it was a drag race or some other testosterone fueled stupidity that caused the accident. Maybe it was just an unfortunate mistake with a stop sign or red light being missed. I hope he managed to pack in a lot of great living into those few years.