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photoboothAboutABoy04

This is part four of a series of photobooth strips of the same American boy. I estimate that he would be 12 or 13 in these photos.

There has been a gap of three and a half years from the time the last photos in this group were taken. Our young man is looking more grown up and acting that way. Gone are the crazy faces and comical poses. The photos suggest a growing maturity but happily his inner comedian is still there. You will see what I mean in the next post, as we continue to follow his progression from boyhood to young adulthood.

To see the other photos of this young man, please click here.

 

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This is part three of a series of photobooth strips of the same little American boy. My estimate is that he would be 9 or ten in these photos.

I wonder if the first strip was deemed unsuccessful, resulting in the second one being taken with a different background and a properly adjusted seat? I like the way the second strip shows a progression from not quite ready, to small smile, to bigger smile, to wide eyed grin. We can still see the cheekiness and spirit on show in previous strips, albeit slightly toned down.

Having been taken on the same day, he is wearing the same lumberjack coat in both strips. Being slow to pick up on fashion trends in those days, this style of boy’s clothing didn’t make it to Australia until the 1970s. It is a trend that is currently being revived in some retail outlets today. Blah! But I digress! It is interesting to me that with a less reflective background, his hair looks much darker and by adjusting the seat he looks older than in the first strip.

To see the other photos in the series, please click here.

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Someone has kept these two battered and dirty photobooth photos side by side for a long time, possibly in a purse or wallet. They found their way to a US flea market in unison, too.

With no information on the backs, these photos could have been taken anywhere, but the uniform of the soldier and the style of luxurious, tumbling curls of the young woman mark these as having been made at a particular time; WW2. There is a melancholy look to their smiles. Was it a wartime romance cut short by an imminent departure for duty, perhaps?

It is cute that they both blinked at the same time in the second image. It gives the impression that they are both meditating on their love, sending their thoughts to each other through their heads-together embrace. You can see the soldier’s hand at bottom right of each image, holding his girl tight. He never wanted to let her go.

I hope it wasn’t just the photos that remained together. Now that these photos are mine, I can guarantee, that at least in these two dimensions, they will never be parted.

 

 

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From my collection

Yo Yo (Bill Alcott) is seen above with a Majorette, which I have just discovered is an American term for a baton twirling marching girl. In Australia we have a different name for this type of performer. We call them  Baton Twirling Marching Girls. Not much linguistic creativity there, Oz! The above souvenir photo is one of many I have seen on eBay, in the past two years or so, where we see Yo Yo posing with a visitor to the carnival or circus. The above photo is the only one that shows somebody in a costume that indicates they were also performers at the event.

My scanner has failed to capture how wonderful this photo is.  There is a depth to the photo that is not visible here. Our marching girl is beautiful. She looks serene and comfortable getting a hug from my favourite clown. I wonder if they were friends?

Below are more photos of Yo Yo with circus goers. Unless otherwise indicated, I do not own them, but copied them from the eBay listing when they were sold.

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From my collection

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I have published photos of this clown before but at the time I knew nothing about him, except that he kept popping up in online auctions in photobooth photos. I am happy to say I now know that this is Yo Yo the clown. Of course he was more frequently known by his birth name, Bill Alcott. I bought this and most of the photobooth photos below from his daughter, Arlene Albrecht. She has so many souvenirs of her own and her father’s career in the circus that she was happy to part with these small items.

Bill started clowning when he was 5 years old as his uncle was a strong man in the circus. He performed well into his 70s. When Arlene was a child she travelled and performed with her father in Jay Gould’s Million Dollar Circus. The circus had a carnival, so it was a complete package for state fairs & other community celebrations. Arlene’s mother had a photobooth and her brother had a slum spindle (which I believe is a game designed to favor the owner, not the player) on the midway. Later the family added snow cones & cotton candy to the business.

The photobooth was very popular during the second world war as all the girls at home were sending pictures to their sweethearts in the military. Their photobooth was a great feature, for children and adults alike, to get a personalised souvenir of the circus. I will post some of that type of photo soon.

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It is interesting that his advertisement for work mentions that he was sober. Taking one meaning of the word, it is hardly appealing to employ a clown of sober mood. Taking the other meaning of sober, which is obviously the one intended, one wonders if there were so many drunken clowns in the business, that it  was necessary to specify that detail.

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The photos below are copyrighted to Clown Alley. I asked for permission to use them but didn’t receive a reply. I hope using them will not upset anyone.

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St Louis Police Circus 1956. Yo Yo is the second last clown on the right.

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Yo Yo in colour, cuddling a Policeman clown.

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I don’t much like it when elderly couples are characterised as ‘sweet’ or ‘cute’. I think it is patronising and condescending. It ignores the fact that older people are smart, experienced and tough. If they have maintained a relationship for long enough to be growing old together then they are patient, loving and tolerant as well.

This 1930s photobooth photo from the USA shows a couple that has lived well and survived. They appear to be dressed up for a special occasion or simply for a trip into town, which may have been a special occasion itself. They still have a sense of adventure and fun to have stopped, into what was a very recent invention, to have their photo taken. I like their matching granny glasses, her lace collar and beads.

They both have wonderful half smiles that make me feel that they were enjoying themselves and each others company.

 

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