Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor
For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at two pages from the Donna Darling Collection[i]. On the pages were eight photos that I’ll look at and hopefully identify during this article.
The first photo is an easy one. It is me, from the summer when I was turning one. Sadly, the person with me was cut out. It was probably my grandmother Donna. My stepfather cut Donna out of many photos. In 1951, I had the surname of “Larson” as my mother had married a Larson, and using the same surname as a stepfather was common in those days as it made things easier.
Russell Kees, Age 1
This is clearly my uncle Russell Kees, probably when he probably about one. He is clearly standing, but he looks like he needs the chair’s aid to do so. Russell was born in August 1927, so this photo appears to be from the summer of 1928.
Next is a photo of Gypsie, Donna’s Pekinese, as a puppy of 5 weeks. With her is a littermate. We’ve seen Donna and Gypsie before. When Donna and her show were in Canada, having pictures taken while scantily clad in the snow, Donna had Gypsie with her. (See the Donna Darling Collection Part 9[ii].)
Donna & Gypsie
We also see Donna holding Gypsie in what appears to be a beach on a cold day. Donna is wearing a stylish hat and coat.
Donna & Friend
In this photo, Donna is with an unknown woman. I’ve seen this woman in enough pictures that I’m sure she is a regular in Donna’s show. Donna was always keen to keep other people’s names out of her acts, so determining who this is for sure may be difficult. For now, I’ll call her “Woman Alpha.”
Friends of Donna
The next photo is of Woman Alpha with a man. For the sake of keeping track of them, I’m going to call him Man Alpha and the two of them Couple Alpha. I suspect this is probably a ferry.
Donna, Sammy, and Friends
Next is a photo of four people in swimsuits. Sammy is on the left; Donna is on the right. I’m confident the other woman is “Woman Bravo.” As such, I’m going to call the man with her “Man Bravo” and the two of them “Couple Bravo.”
Donna, Sammy, and the Gang (c. 1926)
This group of six includes an unknown young man, Donna “Darling,? “Man Bravo,” Sammy Clark, “Woman Bravo,” and a final unidentified man in a shirt, tie, suit, and hat.
I suspect that Couple Alpha and Couple Bravo are the same couple, but I can’t tell for sure. I’ll be looking for more evidence regarding their identification in future research.
Besides this blog post, I’ve added metadata of this information to the photo images using Vivid Restore. More about that in a later blog.
- Over the past few months, I’ve begun to improve my skills in photo identification. Clearly, there are two couples that should be identified. Are they the same couple? I’ll try to do so in the coming months.
[i] The originals images were: DSCN1473 (original).tiff, DSCN1523 (original).tiff, and SCAN0188 (original).tiff. Additionally, I have a tiff of each of these photos.
[ii] I didn’t learn that “the Peke” was actually Gypsie, the Pekinese dog until much later.