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Strange Fourth: 1955

Strange Fourth: 1955

At first glance this might appear to be a photo of a boy playing with sparklers, accompanied by The Mummy. Actually, it's me with my father, who happened to turn his head during this slow exposure. We're on the Russian River beach at Guernewood, California, a couple blocks from our vacation home. Another oddity about this Ektachrome slide by my brother: he was at the height of his camera bug phase, and decided to try developing the film himself, using a Kodak home processing kit, back home in Mother's kitchen sink. I remember the scene, really a mental snapshot of him in the darkened kitchen. This shot, along with others on the roll, exhibit processing anomalies, such as the flurry of red blobs and the aura emanating from the top of my head. The event itself was tons of fun. We semi-successfully shot a rocket over the river, and I remember gleefully watching black snakes curling about on the sand. And the aroma! View full size.

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is full of such wonderful memories and what a delight it is to share them here on Shorpy.


We did the snakes on the sidewalk during the day, on the 4th and days later until we ran out.

And this is a great picture.

Happy accidents

All the "mistakes" in this photo make it a beautiful image. Your dad's mummy-face is fantastic.

On the sand?

When I was a kid, we had to place the snake pellets on open, hard surface, as instructed on the box. That meant using the sidewalk or front porch, leaving large scorch marks that drove Dad into a high dudgeon.

Happy Independence Day

Thanks for your post.

Always look forward to your trips down memory lane.

I just moved from Santa Rosa to Chicago and I have fond memories myself.

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