Sunday March 2nd 2014

Elmer and Addie

Don’t you just love a flea market? Here in the Denver area, I look forward all year to the Paris Street Market. It takes place once a month, May through October. (What’s actually French about it remains unclear.) Thousands of like-minded treasure hunters fight over parking spaces for the privilege of delving through booths filled with everything from handcrafted objets d’art to actual collectibles to interesting junk. Personally, I am attracted to the junk. (Excuse me. I prefer to call it ephemera).

So I really struck it rich when I was searching through boxes of old photos. Not only did I find a great picture of this nice couple, but there was a negative as well! Large enough for sunprinting! (Eight minutes at noon in the Colorado sun produced the image you see below.)

But there’s nothing like paying fifty cents for a picture of interesting strangers to capture the imagination. Instant relatives! Just look at them! What’s their relationship? Is she his wife? His daughter? And look at her smile. Is that a Mona Lisa smile, or what? And how, of all things, did these good people end up in a shoebox in a shopping center parking lot in Littleton, Colorado?

On the back of the photo, the number 1210 and two illegible words, both starting with capital C, are written in pencil. There’s a logo stamped on the back. It says Star Print/Star Photo Co., Anderson, Indiana.

A friend suggested the man was named Elmer. It took me a while to come up with the right name for the woman. Addie. For the time being, anyway. Does anyone know who they really were?

…Jan Magee, The Quilt Life

Do you know the mystery couple?
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