A special guest post by Seth Kallen Deitch curator of the Classic Photobooth Group on Facebook –

Emily and Myrtle, I’m not going to say that they *hated* one another, but they had a rivalry and *certainly* were not friends, but to use the word *hate*, well, that just wouldn’t be Christian.

What brought them into contact was the church events committee that they both were on. Christmas, Easter and patriotic pageants, Sunday school outings and church picnics, rummage sales, all of these were the things that drove their little world. One of the big ones was the October Fancy Dress Ball. Their congregation frowned on dressing as monsters, ghosts and other creatures of darkness, but they definitely were not against seasonal fun!

The Fancy Dress Ball was the big adult event of the year, there was a Halloween party for the kids, but the Ball had the bigger budget. The gimmick was that people were paired up to design *each other’s* costumes. In 1955 someone decided that Emily and Myrtle would be paired in this event. Of the two, we can now suppose that it was Myrtle who bore the greater malice. Emily made her the gown of a medieval lady. It was beautiful in every detail. The outfit that Myrtle made for Emily included a fancy hat that she had made around one of her parlor lampshades. Emily never even noticed until her son pointed it out in a photo ten years later.

A slightly damaged, unframed Photomatic photo circa 1950, USA

  1. I love the photo and the story it inspired! The photo would have prompted my dad to say one of his favorite lines from the drama (“Charlie’s Aunt”): “Where DID you get that hat?” Trying to find the character who said it, I just learned from Google that “Where Did You Get That Hat” is a popular song from 1888. Who knew?! I just listened to it on YouTube. Properly silly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is so funny Liz! My grandpa used to sing me and my siblings that song when we were little. We thought it was hysterical and silly, too. Hope you are writing loads whilst this dreadful time continues.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful story. The lady in the photo reminds me a bit of Mrs. Collins from “A Place to Call Home,” though I’m sure she was nicer and less gossipy! Hope all is well with you, Kate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vin Di said:

    Love love love this pic, thanks for sharing this. She’s in her Easter Bonnet! 0.o I hope this finds you well Kate. We are keeping ourselves home, can’t risk this coronavirus with my daughter. Cabin fever is setting in, but….. rather that than another kind of fever! 🙂 Take care, stay safe and HEALTHY… wash wash wash those hands, don’t touch your face and try to keep your mind busy. That’s half the battle. Blessings my friend…. and Hugz!!! Vin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Vin! I hope the cabin fever is manageable. We are all fine here and doing all we can to stay safe. And yes, wash, 🧼, wash, washing hands!


    • Hi Brian, my health is woeful 😞 but my mood is generally good. I struggle to do brain work like writing but always have plans for another post bubbling away. Thanks for asking after me. How is lockdown going for you?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know, or can imagine. Glad your mood is good. 👍🏻
        We’re ok here. Concerned about the general increase of cases which are up to the sky. You may know one of our daughters and her husband are both MD’s at local hospitals… Situation is really bad. Hospitals are already saturated despite what the local politicos say. Liars all.
        I am concerned about after. What happens when every body is released? There is no immunity. NO cure… 😷😷😷
        Take care Kat.


    • Hi Brian, yes, so crazy. My dad died three days before you posted this comment. I’m only just catching up. I’m now my mum’s primary carer and with my health issues, things have been tough. Hope you are well?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Kat, I am very sorry for your loss. Unfortunately there comes a time in our lives when we have to face our parents’ lack of immortality. And take care of them as they did of us when we were kids… I can imagine your health issues not helping… How are you in that respect? Can anyone help you wit your mother? Have I dreamt that or do you have a sister in NZ?
        add to that the coronavirus situation, it all makes for complicated things. Be well and stay in touch… Blessings to you. 🙏🏻


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