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Friday, 1 July 2011

Marion Post Wolcott: A Fourth of July Celebration, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, 1941


A Fourth of July celebration and picnic, St. Helena Island, South Carolina: photos by Marion Post Wolcott, July 1939 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)




Beautiful pictures from another time (pre high fructose corn syrup). . . .


first grey light in sky above blackness
of ridge, silver of planet above leaves
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

painting was made, possibly
between home where he

once was, pictorial surface,
looked out the window

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
sunlit grey whiteness of fog on horizon

TC said...


Pictures from and of the muted brightnesses and obscurities of another time, another world.

The beautiful dress-up elegance in the shadows under the dark dense greens.

Wasn't able to make out a single cell phone at the Fourth of July Celebration on St. Helena Island... a misplaced [?] connection

between home

and wherever the heart got lost.

This, with the post below, meant as a kind of pair of opposites. Light and shade.

First light (speaking of), here, not grey for once, but blue and golden, stimulating the Common Raven pair to a great pitch of loud celebration.

They have managed to survive minor typhoons and major traffic on the freeway feeder, but we fear for their future in the face of an imminent city contracted "improvement" boondoggle scheduled to involve jackhammering the sidewalks, as well as adjacent living things, back to the Stone Age.

That unending March of Progress.

Phanero Noemikon said...

where'd the Eskimo high kick go?

TC said...

It did a two-and-a-half gainer over the top, circled the moon, pounded on the trap door of the asteroid belt, got a 400 Series Bad Request Message, came back down and landed on the main street of Deadwood.

Some things you just can't make it through the night on Earth without.

Anonymous said...

I would love to be able to hear the celebrants' Independence Day, 1941 conversations. Reading about the history of St. Helena Island after seeing these marvelous photographs really took me on a trip to a place I would like to know more about and visit in "real life". This would include a meal at the Gullah Grub restaurant.

TC said...


Marion Post also did some fine black-and-white work on that visit.

The "look" is different, of course, less "painterly", more "historical", perhaps.

Illuminates the moments from another angle.

For example, this close-up of watching a game at the Fourth of July celebration.

When not in festive mode, most of the people in these photos were cannery hands.

No dress-up finery in this end-of-day shot of cannery workers going home.

Anonymous said...

These are all such fine work. Seeing pictures of past July 4th celebrations makes me happy for all sorts of obvious reasons. For the past couple of nights in Pennsylvania, we've been hearing early suburban fireworks (local kids in their back yards, I suppose), which have been driving the dogs crazy. Steve's comment about pre-high fructose corn syrup makes me smile. Good lord -- what on earth have we sailed into these days?

TC said...


Yes -- exactly what the civilized French admiral said, when having the misfortune of coming up against that mad dog Nelson.