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Mendon L.D.S. Church: 1940

Mendon L.D.S. Church: 1940

August 1940. "Congregation leaving the Latter Days Saints Church at Mendon, Cache County, Utah." Acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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That baby carriage ...

I suppose Rosemary's Baby might come to mind. But in 1940, especially next to those steps, it might recall the great Russian film Battleship Potemkin, with the famous sequence of a baby carriage painfully making its way down the steps in Odessa.

Or it might make you wonder if someone has abandoned a foundling there during the service, knowing some saintly soul would adopt it.

In any case, a brilliantly attractive picture there in the Utah sun.

Rosemary's Baby

Great comment by JennyPennifer. This is what makes reading the comments as good as looking at the pictures. As for the baby carriage, it made me think immediately of the stairway shootout scene from The Untouchables (1987).

[A scene that was lifted from Eisenstein's "Potemkin." - Dave]

Another one bites the dust

Sadly, the building lasted just 50 years. I just don't get why nice little historic buildings like this are considered disposable. I'd like to think that the preservation movement of the last couple of decades might have worked to save it from the wrecking ball.

Two things

Thing One: The spectacularly symmetrical (and extremely satisfying) composition of this photo is miraculous. The matchless Mr. Lee must have had his tripod set up and everything copacetic before the folks began piling out from services, to get it so perfect. I wonder if he wished he could have gone inside and leveled all of the window shades? I think not. The half-open door with the blackness beyond gives a momentarily unsettling frisson. Even so the picture calms the mind, which, if a photo does not excite the heart, should be the result of gazing at it. The restrained animation of the people adds the metaphor of unpredictability against the backdrop of the subliminally eternal.

Thing Two: The parked perambulator is very Rosemary's Baby. Why something that is not at all anachronistic should seem so creepy is interesting. A bonus for Mr. Lee, after the fact. Bravo. Having lived nearly twenty years after the release of the film, I wonder if he realized it later. At that time it would not have seemed remarkable, but in terms of post-war cinematic iconography, the buggy is a real spanner in the works.

Sunshine on their shoulders

I almost want to squint looking at the image. Sunny day!

Sunday Best

It is clear in this Rockwellian scene that the flat-capped boy at the foot of the steps is reconnoitering as to which of those unsuspecting girls will be the one down whose back he will deposit the frog in his pocket.

Brickolage (part 2)

Love the two-tone brickwork. So simple yet so effective.

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