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The Yellow Bullet: 1940

The Yellow Bullet: 1940

June 1940. "Some of the younger Osceola migratory camp members who have come to the post office in Belle Glade, Florida, for their mail." Medium format negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Re: Obviously

I don’t claim to be sharp enough to know what sets MPW’s photos apart, but I’d like to suggest a few things. She’s not lazy, so she always stands far enough away to get a full view, or climbs high enough up to get the best view. She seems to have had the ability to put people at ease in their homes or at their work so they could go about their business naturally as though she wasn’t there. She flat out composes photographs well, in terms of diagonals vs. horizontals and verticals, or a pleasing balance of objects. Sometimes she just stares at signs or street corners. She’s curious, so she’s always finding quirky and interesting things. She respects her subjects and acknowledges their dignity. She likes people in all their forms, frequently taking delight in them. And she’s not showoffy. It’s never all about her. So she’s massively talented but always modest.

You Can't Text in 1939

If you look in the background of the photo in gcreedon's post you'll see the Golden Eagle Bar, photographed by Marion Post Wolcott a year and a half earlier in January 1939 and posted on Shorpy May 1, 2019. So the post office was across the street from the bar.

There was some discussion in May as to why a group of white men are sitting in front of a blacks only bar. dddlensman commented they were simply sitting in the shade on a sunny Florida day. Now I think they were also simply waiting for the mail to be distributed in the post office boxes. I once lived in a very small town and before diversions like the Internet, we did things like that.

What a coincidence

I walked past an antique shop this afternoon and saw this in the window!

Humm --

The look of disapproval (?) from one the ladies passing by says it all.

Another view

There's a Shorpy watermark, but, I couldn't find it's its original posting. I'm guessing the kids drove out from Palm Beach to see how the other half lives.

[Don't guess -- read the caption! They are migrant laborers picking up their mail. - Dave]

Obviously by Marion Post Wolcott

Thanks to Shorpy, I've gotten pretty good at recognizing the work of Marion Post Wolcott. While I'm sharp enough to recognize a distinctive quality in her photos, I'm not sharp enough to explain what sets them apart. Perhaps someone else can explain.

Local Car

The 6 on the license plate indicates the car comes from Palm Beach County, which just so happens to be where Belle Glade is located. No letter after the county number indicates it's a passenger car weighing 2500-3499 pounds.

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