I quite often buy photos based on the title used by the seller. Of course the price has to be right and there needs to be something else that appeals; a look in the eye, a familiarity of features, a special item being worn or held. However, some of the more creative titles make imaginary theories about a person’s life spring so readily to mind, that it can be the deciding factor on whether to purchase or not.
This poor guy, listed under the title – THE MOST BORING MAN on THE PLANET! – got my sympathy. What was he trying to do? He looks completely unaware of the reason he got into the booth. Could it be that he didn’t realise that the flashes indicated the pictures were being taken? To me it looks as though he is still waiting for something to happen. Maybe he still is…
My relationship with Cherie is an unusual one. I don’t know her and I didn’t find her photos online or in a junk shop. In 1997, I wrote to New Idea Magazine about my photobooth collection and plans for an exhibition, which unfortunately never eventuated. I asked if any of their readers would like to contribute pictures. I received two replies, Cherie’s being one of them. She wrote a short note saying “I hope these help you out… please send a photo of the finished project”. I replied to say thank you, as she had included her return address in Walloon, Queensland, but as the project didn’t happen, I never contacted her again.
So after 14 years, these are Cherie’s pictures. It was too much to hope that anyone with her name was still living at the address I have, but there are a few others with the same surname living elsewhere in Queensland. Now the hunt begins to find her and tell her what happened to her cool pics. Wish me luck!
This is Lindsey. As mentioned in my post Della Time Machine Linds is the hospitable hubby of the Holbrook household. For many years, he was pretty much the only man in a house full of kids and manic foreign women. Taking in boarders was Del’s thing and Linds went patiently along for the ride, come what may. There was the occasional male boarder, warmly embraced by him, as a slight antidote to the mayhem of the overwhelming majority of female guests. Like Del, he was generous and welcoming to all. He was and still is a humorous, patient Dad and an affectionate friend.
Looking at these photos I find it fun to see the strong resemblance between him and his son, Rich, who is now about the same age as Linds would be in the first photo. I am not sure if he knows I have these booth pics of him. They arrived one day in the post from London, as a delightful surprise present from Del along with other family photobooth pics.
My Grandma Parkes was everything a grandmother should be. She was kind, a patient teacher (I learned numerous crafts from her), cuddly and a great cake baker. She was a professional musician all her life, working as piano accompanist to my grandfather Cecil, who played the violin. I was very fortunate to have been able to spend one night a week with both my grandparents for the whole of my final year at Loreto, Mandeville Hall. Ceramics was not offered there at that time, so I went each Wednesday night to classes at Hawksburn, a short walk from Grandma and Grandpa’s home. We invariably had chops and boiled veggies for dinner. I loved it!
This photo of May Parkes (née Broderick) was taken in the late 1980s for a passport for a trip to New Zealand. I wish she had stepped into a photobooth more frequently as I’d love to have one or two booth pics of her as a young woman. She was a most attractive lady in her heyday.
April 1994, London
I was not yet ready to head home to Australia as I was keen to develop my new language skills by using them in some way. Through The Lady magazine I applied for a position as a nanny with a French couple living in London. They were planning to move to Paris in the coming month. Once established at their huge apartment, a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower, I was told by my employer that the main reason I had been given the position over another candidate, was my “beautiful white teeth”. It was a compliment I’d never before received, let alone them having been the reason for my securing a job!
My charge was an 18 month old little boy named Alex. He was sweet and smart and an absolute joy to look after, especially as my work finished at 5.00 pm – no night duties, hoorah! We had fun together, going out for fruit and veggies at local shops and a regular street market, visiting the park under the Eiffel Tower three or four times a week and exploring other parts of Paris via the Metro or on foot. His room was decorated with an extremely large array of Babar the Elephant paraphernalia, posters and toys. Assuming his mother was a big fan, I commented on the theme. Apparently it was his father’s childhood nickname. Much to his dismay he was the frequent recipient of Babar gifts, the trend having intensively accelerated after the news he was to become a daddy. On my departure for Australia, I was given one of his Babar toys as a memento, which I treasure to this day.
So here I am flashing my fabulous pearly whites. This could be another photo for a French visa or a random stop at a booth, I am no longer sure. It was taken on 22 April 1994 when I was very close to leaving for Paris.
Some years ago I bought a group of booth strips of the same woman. The photos were from France. I thought they were a brilliant find, showing the same lady through two relationships and many different fashionable hairstyles of the 1960s. In the images of her alone, I imagine her popping into a booth on the way home from her hairdresser to record the newest “do”. Above are four of the 14 strips. Only seven of the group are dated. There is no indication as to the place they were taken on any of them. As with most of my collection, I feel a certain proprietary relationship with each sitter, especially if I have more than one photo covering a period of time. Thus I was delighted when my lovely lady came into my life again earlier this year, in a most surprising way, of which I will tell you more in a later post.
Chronologically, this is the next of the dated booth photos of the series of 14 of my lovely French lady. This strip was cut, as you can see. I especially love this photo as my sister was born in the same month and year. Why does that make any difference? I suppose I enjoy seeing what else was going on in another private world at a significant time in the life of my family, similarities and differences, another incarnation of the period. I am amused by the fact that at around the same era, my mum had a furry hat very similar to the one worn above and she was also fond of the same type of fashionable silk scarf.
These are the last two strips of dated photos from my mysterious, beautiful French lady. Looking glamourous in her pearls and just as chic in her more casual stripes, she is the image of a 1960s conservative yet fashionable young thing. There are eight strips of undated images to come soon.
Although I didn’t manage to get my Mum and Dad into a photobooth in London, they promised to keep an eye out for a booth on their travels. They posted this to me when they returned to Australia. It cracked me up. I love Dad’s stunned mullet look and the action of his leaving the booth before the last shot was taken. It still makes me smile. Mum is looking joyous: she was very excited by her European travel adventure.
This pic was taken in Switzerland in May 1994. My Mum had never left Australia before and it was only my Dad’s second overseas trip, having come over to London for the first time in 1989 to nurse me after I was discharged from Hither Green Hospital .
2 April 1994, London
It had been many months since I had seen my Susie. She was visiting from Dublin where she was working as a nanny and taking advantage of the wild 90s club scene there. Up until yesterday, I would have described her as a “party girl” but having only just learned this has pejorative connotations, courtesy of an episode of Madmen, I had better not. She has always loved people, fun and up until recent years, big eyebrows. Stop the plucking and bring ’em back, Sue-poo, I miss them.
This is the first of many occasions when I have been photographed in a photobooth with my darling baby sister. We were at the post office at Charing Cross on our way to meet our parents, who were visiting London for the first time together. We each took two of the strip of four pics.